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if ill a 

1 I' 

That Home, the highest in the Ancient World, 
And destined to perform from age to age 
The noblest service, welcoming as guests 
All of all nation* and of every faith ; 
A temple, tacred to Humanity! 







Winter Comfort. 

Winter Discomfort. 



TERN Winter," says Wordsworth, "loves a dirge-like sound." 
Yet the varied strains collected in this volume are not 
wholly or chiefly of melancholy cadence. To most of their 
writers Winter is beautiful, though stern and solemn; to many the 
season has associations and suggestions of rich instructiveness. In 
the endeavour to live a noble life, the opportunities afforded by 
Winter are most helpful to the wise. 

John Foster characteristically remarks " The Winter is generally 
felt an unpleasing and gloomy season of the year ; the more 
desirable is it to make it yield us some special .good by way of 
compensation. The practicability of doing this displays the excellence 
of mind above matter, and the advantage of religion. The sky is 
gloomy, the light brief and faint; the earth torpid, sterile, and 
deprived of beauty the whole system of the elements ungenial, like 
a general refusal of nature to please us, or afford us anything. 
Well, but MIND, with the aid of wisdom and religion, may not only 
flourish within itself, but may compel the very Winter to afford 
assistance to its doing so. It may raise a richer produce than the 
agriculturist can in spring and autumn." 

That the harvest of which the great Essayist speaks may be 
reaped even in an English Winter the following poems will show. 


Many writers have been laid under contribution, from those who, like 
THOMSON, BLOOM FIELD, and the gifted but hapless JOHN CLARE, 
have spent their strength chiefly in description, to those who, with 
COWPER, BURNS, and many more, have had their deeper thoughts 
quickened by the wintry life around them. Poems or fragments 
worth preserving have been taken from some of our elder English 
writers, and of our less known poets ; while of American authors, 
BRYANT, LONGFELLOW, and WHITTIER, with a few of inferior name, 
have much enriched the collection. 

The appeal to mutual sympathy and active benevolence which 
this season peculiarly enforces, is urged with much pathos and 
force in not a few of the following pieces. Winter brings out the 
contrasts of life ; the extremes of social enjoyment and of human 
distress appear side by side : it is the time for the compassionate 
heart and the helping hand : and in all this there is material for the 
highest poetry too. 

Then we can never forget that Winter is consecrated to our 
thoughts by the Advent of the SON OF MAN. Whether our 
Christmas accurately represents the date of the Nativity is still an 
open question ; although the weight of modern opinion seems, on the 
whole, in accord with the early tradition. But whatever may have 
been the chronological fact, the appropriateness and beauty of the asso- 
ciation have indissolubly linked this Festival with the "Winter wild." 

It is hoped, therefore, that the Christmas Carols introduced will 
be felt to be in harmony with the rest of the volume : while the 
brief Apj>endix, giving an account of some of the earliest of these 
compositions, with the ancient music, will, we are persuaded, be 
welcomed by many readers. 

The artists, whose sketches have been engraved for this volume 
by Mr. WHYMPKR, have endeavoured to be true to the spirit of the 
several poems. The work is offered, not only as a companion of 
dark Winter hours, but as a memento of the thoughts and occupations 
connected with them that may not be inappropriate when 

" the winter is past, 
The rain is over and gone ; 
The flowers appear on the earth ; 
The time of the singing of birds is come, 
And the voice of the turtle is heard in the land." 



WINTER James Thomson, Seasons, " Winter," 1726 . . I 

ILLUSTRATION " The brawling Brook." 

DECEMBER MORNING . . Anna Seward, "Original Sonnets on various 

Subjects," 1799 7 

WINTER Music ....//. W. Longfellow, " Earlier Poems," 1839. . 8 
" With sotemn feet thread the HHI." 

GLAD CHRISTMAS . . . John Clare, "The Shepherd's Calendar and 

other Poems," 1827 10 

" The Snow is besomed from the door." 

THE WOODS IN WINTER . W. Cullen Bryant, " Poems," 1832 14 

" The Rabbit sprang away. " 
"The Stroke of Axe makes the Wood ring." 

A WINTER SCENE . . . John Clare, "Poems descriptive of Rural Life 

and Scenery," 1820 19 

A WINTER MEDITATION . Henry Kirke White, "Clifton Grove, with other 

Poems," 1803 20 

THE NORTH POLE . . . ib. ib. .... 21 

THE ROBINS Rev. John Langhorne, Monody, " Poetical 

Works," 1766 22 

THE RESURRECTION . . Rev. George Crabbe, " Life and Poetical Works," 

1861 23 

WINTRY DESOLATION . . Percy Bysshe Shelley 24 



JANUARY John Clare, " The Shepherd's Calendar and other 

Poems," 1827 24 

ILI.I-STRATION-" Scaring the Snipe from her Retreat" 
" Owlets swoop by him as he shuts the Door." 

CHANGE OF WEATHERS . F. Quarks, "Divine Fancies," 1641 . . . . 33 

MORAL REFLECTIONS ON WINTER. A'. Southey, " Lyric Poems," (written 

Dec. i, 1793) 34 

" The luy round the leafless Oak." 

SNOW-BOUND /. Greenlcaf Whitticr 36 

Boys in Bed watching Snow-storm. 

WINTER DECORATIONS . . Bernard Barton, "Moral and Sacred Poetry," 1820 38 
" Thy Studded Mantle gay with Icy Brilliants." 

A CALM WINTER NIGHT. Percy Bysshe Shelley 39 

THE APPROACH OF WINTER. John Scott, "Poetical Works," 1781 ... 40 
WINTER REFLECTIONS. . Robert Burns . . 41 

A LAY IN DECEMBER . . Anon., "Chronicles of the Seasons" .... 42 
" On every Bough Thousands of Crystals sparkle now." 

A WINTER SABBATH \\ALK. fames Grahame, "Poems," 1807 44 

" No step approaches to the House of Prayer." 

THE DEATH OF THE FLOWERS. William Cullcn Bryant, " Poetical Works," 

1846 48 

CHRISTMAS CAROL, i. . . Rev. C. Wesley, " Hark how all the welkin 

rings," 1739 49 

CHRISTMAS CAROL, n. . Rev. S. Medley, "Mortals awake, with angels 

join," 1787 50 

THE WINTER WALK . . Hon. Mrs. Caroline Norton, " Poems," 1840 . 52 
" Wintry Sunsets fade along the Sky." 

OPE TO WINTER . . . Thomas Campbell, "Germany, December, 1800" 53 

THE NORTH-EAST PASSAGE. David Mallet, "The Excursion," 1728 ... 55 

Portrait of Baron Nordenshiold. 



THE GREAT ST. BERNARD. Samuel Rogers, "Italy," 1822 57 

ILLUSTRATION " A Temple sacred to Humanity! " FRONTISPIECE. 
"A Dog howls loud and long." 

THE GRASSHOPPER AND THE CRICKET. John Keats, "Sonnet," 1817. . . 63 
The Homes of the Grasshopper and Cricket. 

THE CIRCLING YEAR . . Mark Akenside, "Odes" 64 

To A FIELD MOUSE . . Robert Burns 66 

"Wee, sleekit, cow'rin', tim'rous Beastie." 

RUGGED WINTER . . . Thomas Chatterton, 1770 68 

"Roll the White Surges to the Sounding Shore.' 

CHRISTMAS HYMN . . . Thomas Campbell, "When Jordan hushed his 

waters still," 1796 71 

CHRISTMAS DAY .... Rev. John Keble, " Christian Year," 1827. . . 72 
A LITTLE CHRISTMAS SERMON. Harriet McEwen Kimb'all 74 

WINTER IN THE ARCTIC CIRCLE. Ambrose Philips, "Epistle to the Earl of 

Dorset," 1709 77 

Icebound Ship. 

THE WINTER STORM . . Rev. George Crabbe, " The Borough, " I., 1810 . 79 
" She rises often, often drops again. " 

THE FIRST CHRISTMAS . Alfred Dommett 83 

A LONDON WINTER . . John Gay, " Trivia, on the Art of Walking the 

Streets," 1715 85 

THE WINTER TRAVELLER. Henry Kirke White, "Clifton Grove, and other 

Poems," 1803 87 

A Travelling Van. 

A REFLECTION ON A WINTER EVENING. Anne Steele, " Poems on Subjects 

chiefly Devotional, by Theodosia," 1760. . 88 

FEBRUARY John Clare, "The Shepherd's Calendar, and other 

Poems," 1827 90 

THE WINTER CHILL . . Robert Burns 94 



HYMN ON THE NATIVITY. Ben Jonson, "The Forest and the Underwood," 

1616 95 

WINTER EVENING . . . Robert Bloomfteld, "The Farmer's Boy," 1800 . 96 
ILLUSTRATION "Deep-plunging Cows their rustling Feast enjoy." 

DAYBREAK IN FEBRUARY. William Caldwell Roscoe 97 

THE ICEBERG J. o. Rockwell 98 

OLD CHRISTMAS . . . . John Bampfylde, "Sixteen Sonnets," 1779 . . . 100 

A CAROL ON THE BIRTH OF CHRIST. Thomas Tusser, Sixteenth Century . . 101 

A CHILD'S DREAM . . . "Last Night as I lay sleeping." From an old 

Carol Sheet 102 

A FIRESIDE SONG . . . From the German. By C. T. Brooks, Boston, 1842 104 
" In lovely Switzerland. " 

A WINTER NIGHT . . . Robert Burns 106 

SNOW Eliza Cook, "Poems," 1840 109 

NEW YEAR'S DAY . . . Hartley Coleridge, " Christmastide," 1849. . .no 
" The hoary Steeple rocks." 

THE OPENING YEAR . . Percy Bysshe Shelley 113 

THE SNOW-FLAKE . . . Hannah Flag? Gould 114 

THE FROST SPIRIT. . . /. Greenleaf Whittier 116 

Oirls skating. 

HOME WINTER EVENING. William Cowper, "The Task" 118 

THE CLOSE OF THE YEAR. Andrews Norton, 1822 120 

OLD CAROL "GoD REST You, MERRY GENTLEMEN." Anonymous . . . 122 

A WINTER NIGHT . . . Bernard Barton, " Moral and Sacred Poetry," 

1820 124 

" The hardy Shepherd turns out fearlessly." 

THE POLAR WINTER . . John Scott, "Poetical Works," 1781 .... 125 




WINTER BALLAD . . . From the German 126 

AN AMERICAN WINTER . D. Humphreys 126 

A WINTER NOON . . . William Cowper, "The Task" 128 

A WINTER MORNING . . Andrews Norton, 1822 130 

STANZAS TO WINTER . . John Gardner C. Brainard, " Literary Remains," 

1832 132 

ILLUSTRATION " The Winter comes, and where is she ? " 

THE DEPARTING YEAR . fames G. Brooks 134 

ALPINE FLOWERS . . . Lydia H. Sigourney 138 

SONNET TO A SNOWDROP. William Wordsworth 139 

" Chaste Snowdrop, venturous Harbinger of Spring. " 

THE MINISTRY OF WINTER. Lydia H. Sigourney 140 

THE WINTER NIGHT . . Percy Bysshe Shelley 141 

THE DYING YEAR . . . H. W. Longfellow, "Voices of the Night," 1839 . 143 

HOLLY CAROL .... Shakespeare, "Blow, blow, thou winter wind." 

"As you like It" 145 

THE ICY CHAIN. . . . Percy Bysshe Shelley, "The Sensitive Plant" . 146 
"The Birds drop stiff from the Frozen Air.' 

CAROL OF THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. Robert Herrick, " What sweeter 

music can we bring". . . . 147 

WORCESTERSHIRE CAROL . " How grand and how bright." From a Broadsheet . 148 
THE VILLAGER'S WINTER EVENING SONG. James T. Fields . . . . ..150 

THE ROBIN'S WELCOME . John Clare, "Poems descriptive of Rural Life 

and Scenery," 1820 151 

Robin and Holly. 
"Little Birds leave the Wood." 

THE SNOW-STORM . . . R. W. Emerson 153 



THE SKATERS .... William Wordsworth, "Poems of Childhood" . 154 

FROST WoTfK James Grahamc 155 

ILLUSTRATION " The Wheel immovable and shod with Ice." 

CAROL FOR THE POOR. . " Be Merry All." From a Broadsheet . . . .157 

THE CLOSING YEAR. . . . Samuel Taylor Coleridge 160 

Winter Landscape. 

NOTE ON CHRISTMAS CAROLS: With Music . Collected by W. Langford . . 165 

I. From MS. of Fifteenth Century 165 

ii. "Adeste Fideles" 166 

in. Oxfordshire Carol . 168 

iv. Cornish Carol 170 

v. Somersetshire Carol 172 

vi. Carol from Roxburghe Collection 174 

vn. Carol. By Robert Herrifk 175 

vin. ' Noel Carols," French a nd Anglo-Norman 176 

ix. Convivial Carols 178 

x. "The Holly and the Ivy" 179 

And up among the loose disjointed cliffs, 

And fractured mountains wild, the brawling brook 

And cave, presagefitl, send a hollcnv moan. 


Now when the cheerless empire of the sky 
To Capricorn the Centaur-Archer yields, 
And fierce Aquarius stains the inverted year ; 
Hung o'er the farthest verge of heaven, the Sun 
Scarce spreads through ether the dejected day. 


Faint are his gleams, and ineffectual shoot 
His struggling rays, in horizontal lines, 
Through the thick air; as, clothed in cloudy storm, 
Weak, wan, and broad, he skirts the southern sky ; 
And, soon descending, to the long dark night, 
Wide-shading all, the prostrate world resigns. 
Nor is the night unwished, while vital heat, 
Light, life, and joy, the dubious day forsake. 
Meanwhile, in sable cincture, shadows vast, 
Deep-tinged and damp, and congregated clouds, 
And all the vapoury turbulence of heaven, 
Involve the face of things. Thus Winter falls 
A heavy gloom oppressive o'er the world, 
Through Nature shedding influence malign, 
And rouses up the seeds of dark disease. 
The soul of man dies in him, loathing life, 
And black with more than melancholy views. 
The cattle droop ; and o'er the furrowed land, 
Fresh from the plough, the dun discoloured flocks, 
Untended spreading, crop the wholesome root 
Along the woods, along the moorish fens, 
Sighs the sad Genius of the coming storm ; 
And up among the loose disjointed cliffs, 
And fractured mountains wild, the brawling brook 
And cave, presageful, send a hollow moan, 
Resounding long in listening Fancy's ear. 
Then comes the Father of the tempest forth, 
Wrapt in black glooms. F'irst joyless rains obscure 
Drive through the mingling skies with vapour foul; 
Dash on the mountain's brow, and shake the woods, 
That grumbling wave below. The unsightly plain 
Lies a brown deluge; as the low-bent clouds 
Pour flood on flood, yet unexhausted still 


Combine, and, deepening into night, shut up 
The day's fair face. The wanderers of heaven 
Each to his home retires; save those that love 
To take their pastime in the troubled air, 
Or skimming flutter round the dimply pool. 
The cattle from the untasted fields return, 
And ask, with meaning low, their wonted stalls, 
Or ruminate in the contiguous shade. 
Thither the household feathery people crowd, 
The crested cock, with all his female train, 
Pensive and dripping; while the cottage hind 
Hangs o'er the enlivening blaze, and taleful there 
Recounts his simple frolic : much he talks, 
And much he laughs, nor recks the storm that blows 
Without, and rattles on his humble roof. 
Wide o'er the brim, with many a torrent swelled, 
And the mixed ruin of its banks o'erspread, 
At last the roused-up river pours along : 
Resistless, roaring, dreadful, down it comes, 
From the rude mountain and the mossy wild, 
Tumbling through rocks abrupt, and sounding far; 
Then o'er the sanded valley floating spreads, 
Calm, sluggish, silent; till again, constrained 
Between two meeting hills, it bursts away, 
Where rocks and woods o'erhang the turbid stream ; 
There gathering triple force, rapid and deep, 
It boils, and wheels, and foams, and thunders 

The keener tempests rise : and, fuming dun 
From all the livid East or piercing North, 
Thick clouds ascend; in whose capacious womb 
A vapoury deluge lies, to snow congealed. 


Heavy they roll their fleecy world along, 

And the sky saddens with the gathered storm. 

Through the hushed air the whitening shower descends, 

At first thin wavering ; till at last the flakes 

Fall broad and wide and fast, dimming the day 

With a continual flow. The cherished fields 

Put on their winter-robe of purest white. 

Tis brightness all ; save where the new snow melts 

Along the mazy current. Low the woods 

Bow their hoar head ; and ere the languid Sun 

Faint from the West emits his evening ray, 

Earth's universal face, deep-hid and chill, 

Is one wild dazzling waste, that buries wide 

The works of man. Drooping, the labourer-ox 

Stands covered o'er with snow, and then demands 

The fruit of all his toil. The fowls of heaven, 

Tamed by the cruel season, crowd around 

The winnowing store, and claim the little boon 

Which Providence assigns them. One alone, 

The redbreast, sacred to the household gods, 

Wisely regardful of the embroiling sky, 

In joyless fields and thorny thickets, leaves 

His shivering mates, and pays to trusted man 

His annual visit Half afraid, he first 

Against the window beats ; then, brisk, alights 

On the warm hearth ; then, hopping o'er the floor, 

Eyes all the smiling family askance, 

And pecks, and starts, and wonders where he is : 

Till, more familiar grown, the table-crumbs 

Attract his slender feet The foodless wilds 

Pour forth their brown inhabitants. The hare, 

Though timorous of heart, and hard beset 

By death in various forms dark snares, and dogs, 


And more unpitying men the garden seeks, 
Urged on by fearless want. The bleating kind 
Eye the bleak heaven, and next the glistening earth, 
With looks of dumb despair ; then, sad dispersed, 
Dig for the withered herb through heaps of snow. 


ILOVE to rise ere gleams the tardy light, 
Winter's pale dawn; and as warm fires illume, 
And cheerful tapers shine around the room, 
Through 'misty windows bend my musing sight, 
Where, round the dusky lawn, the mansions white, 
With shutters closed, peer faintly through the gloom, 
That slow recedes ; while yon grey spires assume, 
Rising from their dark pile, an added height 
By indistinctness given. Then to decree 
The grateful thoughts to God, ere they unfold 
To friendship or the Muse, or seek with glee 
Wisdom's rich page ! O hours more worth than gold, 
By whose blest use we lengthen life, and free 
From drear decays of age, outlive the old ! 




HEN winter winds are piercing chill, 

And through the white-thorn blows the gale, 
With solemn feet I tread the hill, 
That over-brows the lonely vale. 

With tolemtt feet I treatt the hill 
That ffver-brows the lonely vale. 

O'er the bare upland, and away 

Through the long reach of desert woods, 
The embracing sunbeams chastely play, 

And gladden these deep solitudes. 


On the grey maple's crusted bark 

Its tender shoots the hoar-frost nips ; 

Whilst in the frozen fountain hark ! 
His piercing beak the bittern dips. 

Where twisted round the barren oak, 
The summer vine in beauty clung, 

And summer winds the stillness broke, 
The crystal icicle is hung. 

Where from their frozen urns, mute springs 
Pour out the river's gradual tide, 

Shrilly the skater's iron rings, 

And voices fill the woodland side. 

Alas ! how changed from the fair scene, 
When birds sang out their mellow lay ; 

And winds were soft, and woods were green, 
And the song ceased not with the day ! 

But still wild music is abroad, 

Pale, desert woods, within your crowd; 
And gathered winds, in hoarse accord, 

Amid the vocal reeds pipe loud. 

Chill airs and wintry winds, my ear 
Has grown familiar with your song ; 

I hear it in the opening year 
I listen, and it cheers me long. 


The snmv is besomed from the door. 

And com/ort crowns the cottage scenes. 


GLAD Christmas comes, and every hearth 
Makes room to give him welcome now, 
E'en want will dry its tears in mirth, 
And crown him with a holly-bough ; 
Though tramping 'neath a winter sky, 
O'er snowy paths and rimy stiles, 
The housewife sets her spinning by 

To bid him welcome with her smiles. 


Each house is swept the day before, 

And windows stuck with evergreens, 
The snow is besomed from the door, 

And comfort crowns the cottage scenes. 
Gilt holly with its thorny pricks, 

And yew and box with berries small, 
These deck the unused candlesticks, 

And pictures hanging by the wall. 

Neighbours resume their annual cheer, 

Wishing, with smiles and spirits high, 
Glad Christmas and a happy year, 

To every morning passer-by ; 
Milkmaids their Christmas journeys go, 

Accompanied with favoured swain ; 
And children pace the crumpling snow, 

To taste their granny's cake again. 

The shepherd, now no more afraid, 

Since custom doth the chance bestow, 
Starts up to kiss the giggling maid 

Beneath the branch of mistletoe 
That 'neath each cottage beam is seen, 

With pearl-like berries shining gay ; 
The shadow still of what hath been, 

Which fashion yearly fades away. 

The singing waits, a merry throng, 
At early morn, with simple skill, 

Yet imitate the angels' song, 

And chant their Christmas ditty still ; 


And, 'mid the storm that dies and swells 
By fits in hummings softly steals 

The music of the village bells, 

Ringing round their merry peals. . . . 

And oft for pence and spicy ale, 

With winter nosegays pinned before, 
The wassail-singer tells her tale, 

And drawls her Christmas carols o'er. 
While 'prentice boy, with ruddy face, 

And rime-bepowdered, dancing locks, 
From door to door with happy pace, 

Runs round to claim his "Christmas-box." 

The block upon the fire is put, 

To sanction custom's old desires; 
And many a fagot's bands are cut, 

For the old farmer's Christmas fires ; 
Where loud-tongued Gladness joins the throng, 

And Winter meets the warmth of May, 
Till feeling soon the heat too strong, 

He rubs his shins, and draws away. 

While snows the window-panes bedim, 

The fire curls up a sunny charm, 
Where, creaming o'er the pitcher's rim, 

The flowering ale is set to warm ; 
Mirth, full of joy as summer bees, 

Sits there its pleasures to impart, 
And children, 'tween their parent's knees, 

Sing scraps of carols o'er by heart. 


And some, to view the winter weathers, 

Climb up the window-seat with glee, 
Likening the snow to falling feathers, 

In Fancy's infant ecstasy; 
Laughing with superstitious love, 

O'er visions wild that youth supplies, 
Of people pulling geese above, 

And keeping Christmas in the skies : 

As though the homestead trees were drest. 

In lieu of snow, with dancing leaves ; 
As though the sun-dried martin's nest, 

Instead of i'cles, hung the eaves ; 
The children hail the happy day 

As if the snow were April's grass, 
And pleased as 'neath the warmth of May. 

Sport o'er the water froze to glass. 

Thou day of happy sound and mirth, 
That long with childish memory stays, 

How blest around the cottage hearth 
I met thee in my younger days ! 

Harping, with rapture's dreaming joys, 
On presents which thy coming found, 

The welcome sight of little toys, 
* The Christmas gift of cousins round. 

And many a thing, a minute's sport, 
Left broken on the sanded floor, 

When we would leave our play, and court 
Our parents' promises for mere. 


Though manhood bids such raptures die, 
And throw such toys aside as vain, 

Yet Memory loves to turn her eye, 
And count past pleasures o'er again. 

Old customs ! Oh ! I love the sound, 

However simple they may be : 
Whate'er with time hath sanction found, 

Is welcome, and is dear to me. 
Pride grows above simplicity, 

And spurns them from her haughty mind, 
And soon the poet's song will be 

The only refuge they can find. 


THE time has been that these wild solitudes, 
Yet beautiful as wild, were trod by me 
Oftener than now ; and when the ills of life 
Had chafed my spirit when the unsteady pulse 
Beat with strange flutterings I would wander forth 
And seek the woods. The sunshine on my path 
Was to me as a friend. The swelling hills, 
The quiet dells retiring far between, 
With gentle invitation to explore 
Their windings, were a calm society 
That talked with me and soothed me. Then the chant 
Of birds, and chime of brooks, and soft caress 
Of the fresh sylvan air, made me forget 
The thoughts that broke my peace, and I began 


To gather simples by the fountain's brink, 

And lose myself in day-dreams. While I stood 

In Nature's loneliness, I was with one 

With whom I early grew familiar, one 

Who never had a frown for me, whose voice 

Never rebuked me for the hours I stole 

From cares I loved not, but of which the world 

Deems highest, to converse with her. When shrieked 

The bleak November winds, and smote the woods, 

And the brown fields were herbless, and the shades 

That met above the merry rivulet 

Were spoiled, I sought, I loved them still, they seemed 

Like old companions in adversity. 

Still there was beauty in my walks ; the brook, 

Bordered with sparkling frost-work, was as gay 

As with its fringe of summer flowers. Afar, 

The village with its spires, the path of streams, 

And dim receding valleys, hid before 

By interposing trees, lay visible 

Through the bare grove, and my familiar haunts 

Seemed new to me. Nor was I slow to come 

Among them, when the clouds, from their still skirts, 

Had shaken down on earth the feathery snow, 

And all was white. The pure keen air abroad, 

Albeit breathed no scent of herb, nor heard 

Love-call of bird nor merry hum of bee, 

Was not the air of death. Bright mosses crept 

Over the spotted trunks, and the close buds, 

That lay along the boughs, instinct with life, 

Patient, and waiting the soft breath of Spring, 

Feared not the piercing spirit of the North. 

The snow-bird twittered on the beechen bough : 

And 'neath the hemlock, whose thick branches bent 


Beneath its bright cold burden, and kept dry 

A circle on the earth, of withered leaves, 

The partridge found a shelter. Through the snow 

The rabbit sprang away. The lighter track 

Of fox, and the racoon's broad path, were there, 

Crossing each other. From his hollow tree 

The squirrel was abroad, gathering the nuts 

Just fallen, that asked the winter cold, and sway 

Of winter blast, to shake them from their hold. 

Through the sntnv 
The rabbit sprang away. 

But Winter has yet brighter scenes, he boasts 
Splendours beyond what gorgeous Summer knows; 
Or Autumn, with his many fruits, and woods 
All flushed with many hues. Come, when the rains 
Have glazed the snow, and clothed the trees with ice, 
While the slant sun of February pours 
Into the bowers a flood of light Approach ! 
The incrusted surface shall upbear thy steps, 
And the broad arching portals of the grove 
Welcome thy entering. Look ! the massy trunks 


Are cased in the pure crystal ; each light spray, 
Nodding and tinkling in the breath of heaven, 
Is studded with its trembling water-drops, 
That stream with rainbow radiance as they move. 
But round the parent stem the long low boughs 
Bend, in a glittering ring, and arbours hide 
The grassy floor. Oh ! you might deem the spot 
The spacious cavern of the virgin mine, 
Deep in the womb of earth where the gems grow, 
And diamonds put forth radiant rods, and bud 
With amethyst and topaz and the place 
Lit up most royally, with the pure beam 
That dwells in them. Or haply the vast hall 
Of fairy palace, that outlasts the night, 
And fades not in the glory of the sun ; 
Where crystal columns send forth slender shafts 
And crossing arches; and fantastic aisles 
Wind from the sight in brightness, and are lost 
Among the crowded pillars. Raise thine eye, 
Thou seest no cavern roof, no palace vault ; 
There the blue sky and the white drifting cloud 
Look in. Again the 'wildered fancy dreams 
Of spouting fountains, frozen as they rose, 
And fixed, with all their branching jets, in air, 
And all their sluices sealed. All, all is light- 
Light without shade. But all shall pass away 
With the next sun. From numberless vast trunks, 
Loosened, the crashing ice shall make a sound 
Like the far roar of rivers, and the eve 
Shall close o'er the brown woods as it was wont. 

And it is pleasant, when the noisy streams 
Are just set free, and milder suns melt off 


The plashy snow save only the firm drift 

In the .deep glen or the close shade of pines 

Tis pleasant to behold the wreaths of smoke 

Roll up among the maples of the hill, 

Where the shrill sound of youthful voices wakes 

The shriller echo, as the clear pure lymph, 

That from the wounded trees, in twinkling drops, 

Falls, 'mid the golden brightness of the morn, 

Wielded by sturdy hands, the stroke oj axe 
Makes the wood ring. 

Is gathered in with brimming pails, and oft, 
Wielded by sturdy hands, the stroke of axe 
Makes the wood ring. Along the quiet air, 
Come and float calmly off the soft light clouds, 
Such as you see in summer, and the winds 
Scarce stir the branches. Lodged in sunny cleft, 
Where the cold breezes come not, blooms alone 


The little wind-flower, whose just-opened eye 

Is blue as the spring heaven it gazes at 

Startling the loiterer in the naked groves 

With unexpected beauty, for the time 

Of blossoms and green leaves is yet afar. 

And ere it comes, the encountering winds shall oft 

Muster their wrath again, and rapid clouds 

Shade heaven, and bounding on the frozen earth 

Shall fall their volleyed stores, rounded like hail 

And white like snow, and the loud North again 

Shall buffet the vexed forests in his rage. 


HAIL, scenes of desolation and despair, 
Keen Winter's overbearing sport and scorn ! 
Torn by his rage, in ruins as you are, 
To me more pleasing than a Summer's morn 
Your shattered state appears; despoiled and bare, 
Stripped of your clothing, naked and forlorn : 
Yes, Winter's havoc! wretched as you shine, 
Dismal to others as your fate may seem, 
Your fate is pleasing to this heart of mine, 

Your wildest horrors I the most esteem : 

The ice-bound floods that still with rigour freeze, 

The snow-clothed valley, and the naked tree, 

These sympathising scenes my heart can please, 

Distress is theirs and they resemble me. 



LOUD rage the winds without. The wintry Cloud 
O'er the cold North Star casts her flitting shroud ; 
And Silence, pausing in some snow-clad dale, 
Starts, as she hears, by fits, the shrieking gale ; 
Where now, shut out from every still retreat, 
Her pine-clad summit, and her woodland seat, 
Shall Meditation, in her saddest mood, 
Retire, o'er all her pensive stores to brood ? 
Shivering and blue, the peasant eyes askance 
The drifted fleeces that around him dance, 
And hurries on his half-averted form, 
Stemming the fury of the side-long storm. 
Him soon shall greet his snow-topt cot of thatch, 
Soon shall his numbed hand tremble on the latch, 
Soon from his chimney's nook the cheerful flame 
Diffuse a genial warmth throughout his frame ; 
Round the light fire, while roars the north wind loud, 
What merry groups of vacant faces crowd ; 
These hail his coming these his meal prepare, 
And boast in all that cot no lurking care. 
What though the social circle be denied, 
Even Sadness brightens at her own fireside, 
Loves, with fixed eye, to watch the fluttering blaze, 
While musing Memory dwells on former days ; 
Or Hope, blest spirit ! smiles and still forgiven, 
Forgets the passport, while she points to heaven. 
Then heap the fire, shut out the biting air, 
And from its station wheel the easy chair : 


Thus fenced and warm, in silent fit, 'tis sweet 
To hear without the bitter tempest beat, 
All, all alone to sit, and muse, and sigh, 
The pensive tenant of obscurity. 


WHERE the North Pole, in moody solitude, 
Spreads her huge tracks and frozen wastes around, 
There ice-rocks piled aloft, in order rude, 
Form a gigantic hall, where never sound 
Startled dull Silence' ear, save when profound 
The smoke-frost muttered : there drear Cold for aye 
Thrones him, and, fixed on his primeval mound, 
Ruin, the giant, sits: while stern Dismay 
Stalks like some woe-struck man along the desert way. 

In that drear spot, grim Desolation's lair, 

No sweet remain of life encheers the sight, 

The dancing heart's blood in an instant there 

Would freeze to marble. Mingling day and night 

(Sweet interchange, which makes our labours light,) 

Are there unknown : while in the summer skies 

The Sun rolls ceaseless round his heavenly height 

Nor ever sets, till from the scene he flies, 

And leaves the long bleak night of half the year to rise. 



THE gentle pair that in these lonely shades, 
Wandering, at eve or morn, I oft have seen, 
Now all in vain I seek at eve or morn, 
With drooping wing, forlorn, 
Along the grove, along the daisied green. 
For them I've warbled many a summer's day, 
Till the light dew impearled all the plain, 
And the glad shepherd shut his nightly fold ; 
Stories of love and high adventure old 
Were the dear subjects of my tuneful strain. 
Ah ! where is now the hope of all my lay ? 
Now they, perchance, that heard them all are dead ! 
With them the meed of melody is fled, 
And fled with them the listening ear of Praise. 
Vainly I dreamt, that when the wintry sky 
Scattered the white flood on the wasted plain, 
When not one berry, not one leaf was nigh, 
To soothe keen Hunger's pain, 
Vainly I dreamt my songs might not be vain. 
That oft within the hospitable hall 
Some scattered fragments haply I might find, 
Some friendly crumb perchance for me designed, 
When seen despairing on the neighbouring wall. 
I )eluded birds, those hopes are now n6 more ! 
Dull Time has blasted the despairing year, 
And Winter frowns severe, 
Wrapping his wan limbs in his mantle hoar. 
Yet not within the hospitable hall 
The cheerful sound of human voice I hear; 
No piteous eye is near, 
To see me drooping on the lonely wall. 



THE wintry winds have ceased to blow, 
And trembling leaves appear ; 
And fairest flowers succeed the snow, 
And hail the infant year. 

So, when the world and all its woes 

Are vanished far away, 
Fair scenes and wonderful repose 

Shall bless the new-born day. 

When, from the confines of the grave, 

The body too shall rise ; 
No more precarious Passion's slave, 

Nor Error's sacrifice. 

'Tis but a sleep and Sion's King 

Will call the many dead : 
'Tis but a sleep and then we sing, 

O'er dreams of sorrow fled. 

Yes ! wintry winds have ceased to blow, 
And trembling leaves appear, 

And Nature has her types to show 
Throughout the varying year. 



IT was a winter such as when birds die 
In the deep forests ; and the fishes lie 
Stiffened in the translucent ice, which makes 
Even the mud and slime of the warm lakes 
A wrinkled clod, as hard as brick ; and when 
Among their children, comfortable men 
Gather about great fires, and yet feel cold ; 
Alas ! then, for the homeless beggar old ! 


WITHERING and keen the Winter comes 
While Comfort flies to close-shut rooms, 
And sees the snow in feathers pass 
Winnowing by the window-glass ; 
Whilst unfelt tempests howl and beat 
Above his head in chimney-seat. 

Now musing o'er the changing scene, 
Farmers behind the tavern-screen 
Collect ; with elbow idly pressed 
On hob reclines the corner's guest, 
Reading the news, to mark again 
The bankrupt lists, or price of grain ; 
Or Old Moore's annual prophecies 
Of flooded fields and clouded skies. 


Smite , hurrying ra ml' It's eager take 
To skate f>on the meadow lake, 
Scaring the snif>e from her retreat, 
h'roin shelving I'anks in frozen seat. 


The schoolboy still, with dithering joys, 
In pastime leisure hours employs, 
And, be the weather as it may, 
Is never at a loss for play : 
Making rude forms of various names, 
Snow-men, or aught his fancy frames ; 
Till, numbed and shivering, he resorts 
To brisker games and warmer sports 
Kicking with many a flying bound 
The football o'er the frozen ground ; 
Or seeking bright glib ice, to play 
And slide the wintry hours away, 
As quick and smooth as shadows run, 
When clouds in autumn pass the sun 
Some, hurrying rambles eager take 
To skate upon the meadow lake, 
Scaring the snipe from her retreat, 
From shelving banks in frozen seat. . . 

The moor-hen, too, with fear opprest, 
Starts from her reedy sheltered rest, 
As skating by, with curving springs, 
And arms outspread like heron's wings, 
They race away, for pleasure's sake, 
With hunter's speed along the lake. 

Blackening through the evening sky, 
In clouds the starlings daily fly 
To Whittlesea's reed-wooded mere, 
And osier holts by rivers near ; 
Whilst many a mingled swarthy crowd, 
Rook, crow, and jackdaw, noising loud, 


Fly to and fro to dreary fen, 
Dull Winter's weary flight again ; 
They flop on heavy wings away 
As soon as morning wakens grey, 
And when the sun sets round and red, 
Return to naked woods to bed. 

The sun is creeping out of sight 
Behind the woods whilst running Night 
Hastens to shut the Day's dull eye, 
And grizzle o'er the chilly sky. 
Now maidens fresh as summer roses, 
Journeying from the distant closes, 
Haste home with yokes and swinging pail 
The thresher, too, sets by his flail, 
And leaves the mice at peace again 
To fill their holes with stolen grain; 
Whilst owlets, glad his toils are o'er, 
Swoop by him as he shuts the door. 

Bearing his hook beneath his arm, 
The shepherd seeks the cottage warm ; 
And, weary in the cold to roam, 
Scenting the track that leads him home, 
His dog goes swifter o'er the mead, 
Barking to urge his master's speed; 
Then turns, and looks him in the face, 
And trots before with mending pace, 
Till, out of whistle from the swain, 
He sits him down and barks again, 
Anxious to greet the opened door, 
And meet the cottage-fire once more. 


The shutter closed, the lamp alight, 
The faggot chopt and blazing bright 
The shepherd now, from labour free, 
Dances his children on his knee ; 

Whilst mulcts, glad his toils are o'er, 
Swoop by him as he shuts the door. 

While, underneath his master's seat, 
The tired dog lies in slumbers sweet, 
Starting and whimpering in his sleep, 
Chasing still the straying sheep. . . 



The redcap, hanging overhead 
In cage of wire is perched a-bed ; 
Slumbering in his painted feathers, 
Unconscious of the outdoor weathers : 
Even things without the cottage walls 
Meet comfort as the evening falls, 
As happy in the Winter's dearth 
As those around the blazing hearth. 
The ass (frost-driven from the moor, 
Where storms through naked bushes roar, 
And not a leaf or sprig of green 
On ground or quaking bush is seen, 
Save grey-veined ivy's hardy pride, 
Round old trees by the common side), 
Littered with straw, now dozes warm, 
Beneath his shed, from snow and storm. 
The swine are fed and in the stye ; 
And fowls snug perched in hovel nigh, 
With head in feathers safe asleep, 
Where foxes cannot hope to creep ; 
And geese are gabbling in their dreams 
Of littered corn and thawing streams ; 
The sparrow, too, a daily guest, 
Is in the cottage eaves at rest : 
And robin small, and smaller wren, 
Are in their warm holes safe again 
From falling snows, that winnow by 
The hovels where they nightly lie, 
And ague winds, that shake the tree 
Where other birds are forced to be. 

The housewife, busy night and day, 
Clears the supper-things away ; 


The jumping cat starts from her seat ; 
And stretching up on weary feet 
The dog wakes at the welcome tones 
That call him up to pick the bones. . . 

Supper removed, the mother sits 
And tells her tales by starts and fits. 
Not willing to lose time or toil, 
She knits or sews, and talks the while 
Something, that may be warnings found 
To the young listeners gaping round 
Of boys who in her early day 
Strolled to the meadow-lake to play, 
Where willows, o'er the bank inclined, 
Sheltered the water from the wind, 
And left it scarcely crizzled o'er 
When one sank in, to rise no more ! 
And how, upon a market-night, 
When not a star bestowed its light, 
A farmer's shepherd, o'er his glass, 
Forgot that he had woods to pass : 
And having sold his master's sheep, 
Was overta'en by darkness deep. 
How, coming with his startled horse 
To where two roads a hollow cross ; 
Where, lone guide when a stranger strays, 
A white post points four different ways, 
Beside the wood-ride's lonely gate 
A murdering robber lay in wait. 
The frightened horse, with broken rein 
Stood at the stable-door again ; 
But none came home to fill his rack, 
Or take the saddle from his back : 


The saddle it was all he bore 
The man was seen alive no more ! 
In her young days, beside the wood, 
The gibbet in its terror stood : 
Though now decayed, 'tis not forgot, 
But dreaded as a haunted spot. . . . 

Thus dame the winter-night regales 
With Wonder's never-ceasing tales ; 
While in a corner, ill at ease, 
Or crushing 'tween their fathers knees, 
The children silent all the while 
And e'en repressed the laugh or smile- 
Quake with the ague chills of fear, 
And tremble though they love to hear ; 
Starting, while they the tales recall, 
At their own shadows on the wall : 
Till the old clock, that strikes unseen 
Behind the picture-pasted screen 
Where Eve and Adam still agree 
To rob Life's fatal apple-tree, 
Counts over bed-time's hour of rest, 
And bids each be Sleep's fearful guest. 
She then her half-told tales will leave 
To finish on to-morrow's eve 
The children steal away to bed, 
And up the ladder softly tread ; 
Scarce daring from their fearful joys 
To look behind or make a noise ; 
Nor speak a word ! but still as sleep 
They secret to their pillows creep, 
And whisper o'er, in terror's way, 
The prayers they dare no louder say ; 


Then hide their heads beneath the clothes, 
And try in vain to seek repose : 
While yet, to Fancy's sleepless eye, 
Witches on sheep-trays gallop by, 
And fairies, like a rising spark, 
Swarm twittering round them in the dark ; 
Till sleep creeps nigh to ease their care?, 
And drops upon them unawares. 


AND were it for thy profit, to obtain 
All Sunshine ? No vicissitude of Rain ? 
Thinkst thou, that thy laborious Plough requires 
Not Winter frosts, as well as Summer fires ? 
There must be both. Sometimes these hearts of ours 
Must have the sweet, the seasonable showers 
Of teares; sometimes the Frost of chill despaire 
Makes our desired Sunshine seem more faire : 
Weathers that most oppose to Flesh and Blood, 
Are such as help to make our Harvest good : 
We may not choose, great God ; it is Thy Task : 
We know not what to have ; nor how to ask. 


The ivy round the leafless oak 
That flas/>s its foliage close. 



HOUGH now no more the musing ear 
Delights to listen to the breeze, 
That lingers o'er the greenwood shade, 
I love thee, Winter, well. 

Sweet are the harmonies of Spring, 
Sweet is the Summer's evening gale, 
And sweet the Autumnal winds that shake 
The many-coloured grove. 

And pleasant to the sobered soul 
The silence of the wintry scene, 
When Nature shrouds herself, entranced 
In deep tranquillity. 


Not undelightful now to roam 
The wild heath sparkling on the sight ; 
Not undelightful now to pace 
The forest's ample rounds : 

And see the spangled branches shine, 
And mark the moss of many a hue, 
That varies the old tree's brown bark, 
As o'er the grey stone spreads ; 

And mark the clustered berries bright, 
Amid the holly's gay green leaves ; 
The ivy round the leafless oak 
That clasps its foliage close. 

So Virtue, diffident of strength, 
Clings to Religion's firmer aid, 
And by Religion's aid upheld 
Endures calamity. 

Nor void of beauties now the spring 
Whose waters hid from summer sun, 
Have soothed the thirsty pilgrim's ear 
With more than melody. 

The green moss shines with icy glare ; 
The long grass bends its spear-like form ; 
And lovely is the silvery scene 
Where faint the sunbeams smile. 

Reflection, too, may love the hour 
When Nature, hid in Winter's grave, 
No more expands the bursting bud, 
Or bids the floweret bloom. 


For Nature soon in Spring's best charms 
Shall rise revived from Winter's grave, 
Expand the bursting bud again, 
And bid the flower re-bloom. 


WITHIN our beds awhile we heard 
The wind that round the gables roared, 
With now and then a ruder shock, 
Which made our very bedsteads rock. 


We heard the loosened clapboards tost, 
The board-nails snapping in the frost ; 
And on us, through the unplastered wall, 
Felt the light sifted snow-flakes fall 
But sleep stole on, as sleep will do 
When hearts are light and life is new ; 
Faint and more faint the murmurs grew, 
Till in the summer-land of dreams 
They softened to the sound of streams, 
Low stir of leaves, and dip of oars, 
And lapsing waves on quiet shores. 

Next morn we wakened with the shout 
Of merry voices high and clear ; 
And saw the teamsters drawing near, 
To break the drifted highways out. 
Down the long hill-side treading slow 
We saw the half-buried oxen go, 
Shaking the snow from heads uptost, 
Their straining nostrils white with frost. 

Before our door the straggling train 
Drew up, an added team to gain. 
The elders threshed their hands a-cold, 
Passed, with the cider-mug, their jokes 
From lip to lip ; the younger folks 
Down the loose snow-banks, wrestling, rolled. 
Then toiled again the cavalcade 
O'er windy hill, through clogged ravine, 
And woodland paths that wound between 
Low drooping pine-boughs winter-weighed. 



Thy studded m.intle gay with icy brilliants. 


THOU hast thy beauties : sterner ones, I own, 
Than those of thy precursors ; yet to thee 
Belong the charms of solemn majesty 
And naked grandeur. Awful is the tone 
Of thy tempestuous nights, when clouds are blown 
By hurrying winds across the troubled sky ; 
Pensive, when softer breezes faintly sigh 
Through leafless boughs with ivy overgrown. 



Thou hast thy decorations too, although 

Thou art austere ; thy studded mantle gay 

With icy brilliants, which as proudly glow 

As erst Golconda's ; and thy pure array 

Of regal ermine, when the drifted snow 

Envelopes Nature ; till her features seem 

Like pale, like lovely ones, seen when we dream. 


How beautiful this night ! the balmiest sigh 
Which vernal Zephyrs breathe in Evening's ear 
Were discord to the speaking quietude 
That wraps this moveless scene. Heaven's ebon vault, 
Studded with stars unutterably bright, 
Through which the moon's unclouded grandeur rolls, 
Seems like a canopy which Love had spread 
To curtain her sleeping world. Yon gentle hills, 
Robed in a garment of untrodden snow 
Yon darksome rocks, whence icicles depend, 
So stainless that their white and glittering spires 
Tinge not the moon's pure beam yon castled steep 
Whose banner hangeth o'er the time-worn tower 
So idly, that wrapt Fancy deemeth it 
A metaphor of peace ; all form a scene 
Where musing Solitude might love to lift 
Her soul above this sphere of earthliness ; 
Where Silence undisturbed might watch alone, 
So cold, so bright, so still. 



HE Sun far southward bends his annual way, 

The bleak north-east wind lays the forests bare, 
The fruit ungathered quits the naked spray, 
And dreary Winter reigns o'er earth and air. 


No mark of vegetable life is seen, 

No bird to bird repeats his tuneful call ; 
Save the dark leaves of some rude evergreen, 

Save the lone redbreast on the moss-grown wall. . . . 

There is, who deems all climes, all seasons fair ; 

There is, who knows no restless passion's strife ; 
Contentment, smiling at each idle care ; 

Contentment, thankful for the gift of life. 

She finds in Winter many a view to please : 

The morning landscape fringed with frost-work gay, 

The sun at noon seen through the leafless trees, 
The calm clear ether at the close of day. 

She marks the advantage storms and clouds bestow, 

When blustering Caurus purifies the air ; 
When moist Aquarius pours the fleecy snow 

That makes the impregnate glebe a richer harvest bear. 

She bids, for all, our grateful praise arise, 

To Him whose mandate spake the world to form ; 

Gave Spring's gay bloom, and Summer's cheerful skies, 

And Autumn's corn-clad field, and Winter's sounding storm. 



THE wintry West extends his blast, 
And hail and rain does blaw, 
Or the stormy North sends driving forth 
The blinding sleet and snaw; 
While, tumbling brown, the burn comes down, 

And roars frae bank to brae ; 
And bird and beast in covert rest, 
And pass the heartless day. 

"The sweeping blast, the sky o'ercast," 

The joyless winter-day, 
Let others fear, to me more dear 

Than all the pride of May : 
The tempest's howl, it soothes my soul, 

My griefs it seems to join ; 
The leafless trees my fancy please, 

Their fate resembles mine. 

Thou Power supreme, whose mighty scheme 

These woes of mine fulfil, 
Here, firm, I rest, they must be best, 

Because they are Thy will ! 
Then all I want, (O do Thou grant 

This one request of mine !) 
Since to enjoy Thou dost deny 

Assist me to resign. 


(> // M.y trees, on every />oiiff>'t, 
Thousands qf crystals sparkle now. 


AH ! why reposest thou so pale, 
So very still in thy white veil, 

Thou cherished Father-land? 
Where are the joyous lays of spring, 
The varied hue of summer's wing, 
Thy glowing vestment bland ? 


But half-attired, thou slumberest now, 
No flocks to seek thy pastures go, 

O'er vales or mountains steep : 
Silent is every warbler's lay, 
No more the bee hums through the day ; 

Yet art thou fair in sleep ! 

On all thy trees, on every bough, 
Thousands of crystals sparkle now, 

Where'er our eyes alight : 
Firm on the spotless robe we tread, 
Which o'er thy beauteous form is spread, 
, With glittering hoar-frost bright. 

Our Father kind, who dwells above, 
For thee this garment pure hath wove ; 

He watches over thee ; 
Therefore in peace thy slumber take, 
Our Father will the weary wake, 

New strength, new light to see. 

Soon to the breath of Spring's soft sighs, 
Delighted thou again wilt rise, 

In wondrous life so fair. 
I feel those sighs breathe o'er the plain- 
Dear Nature, then rise up again 

With flower-wreaths in thy hair. 



How dazzling white the snowy scene ! deep, deep, 
The stillness of the winter Sabbath-day, 
Not even a footfall heard. Smooth are the fields, 
Each hollow pathway level with the plain : 
Hid are the bushes, save that here and there 
Are seen the topmost shoots of brier or broom. 
High-ridged, the whirled drift has almost reached 
The powdered key-stone of the churchyard porch ; 
Mute hangs the hooded bell ; the tombs lie buried ; 
No step approaches to the house of prayer. 

The flickering fall is o'er ; the clouds disperse, 
And show the sun hung o'er the welkin's verge, 
Shooting a bright but ineffectual beam 
On all the sparkling waste. Now is the time 
To visit Nature in her grand attire ; 
Though perilous the mountainous ascent, 
A noble recompense the danger brings. 
How beautiful the plain stretched far below ! 
Unvaried though it be, save by yon stream 
With azure windings, or the leafless wood. 
But what the beauty of the plain, compared 
To that sublimity which reigns enthroned, 
Holding joint rule with solitude divine, 
Among yon rocky fells that bid defiance 
To steps the most adventurously bold ! 


Mute hangs the hooded bell; the tombs lie buried 
No step approaches to the house of prayer. 


There silence dwells profound ; or if the cry 
Of high-poised eagle break at times the calm, 
The mantled echoes no response return. 

But let me now explore the deep-sunk dell : 
No footprint, save the covey's or the flock's, 
Is seen along the rill, where marshy springs 
Still rear the grassy blade of vivid green. 
Beware, ye shepherds, of these treacherous haunts, 
Nor linger there too long : the wintry day 
Soon closes, and full oft a heavier fall, 
Heaped by the blast, fills up the sheltered glen, 
While gurgling deep below, the buried rill 
Mines for itself a snow-covered way. Oh ! then 
Your helpless charge drive from the tempting spot, 
And keep them on the bleak hill's stormy side, 
Where night-winds sweep the gathering drift away. 

So the Great Shepherd leads the heavenly flock 
From faithless pastures full into the storms 
Of life, where long they bear the bitter blast ; 
Until at length the vernal sun looks down 
Bedimmed with showers : then to the pastures green 
He brings them, where the quiet waters glide 
The streams of life, the Siloah of the Soul 



THE melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year, 
Of wailing winds, and naked woods, and meadows brown and 


Heaped in the hollows of the grove, the autumn leaves lie dead ; 
They rustle to the eddying gust, and to the rabbits' tread 
The robin and the wren are flown, and from the shrubs the jay, 
And from the wood-top calls the crow through all the gloomy day. 

The wind-flower and the violet, they perished long ago, 

And the brier-rose and the orchis died amid the summer glow ; 

But on the hill the golden rod, and the aster in the wood, 

And the yellow sunflower by the brook in autumn beauty stood, 

Till fell the frost from the clear cold heaven, as falls the plague on 

And the brightness of their smile was gone, from upland, glade, and 


And now, when comes the calm mild day, as still such days will 


To call the squirrel and the bee from out their winter home ; 
When the sound of dropping nuts is heard, though all the trees are 


And twinkle in the smoky light the waters of the rill, 
The South Wind searches for the flowers whose fragrance late he bore, 
And sighs to find them in the wood and by the stream no more. 




HARK how all the welkin rings, 
" Glory to the King of kings, 
Peace on earth, and mercy mild, 
God and sinners reconciled" 

Joyful all ye nations rise, 

Join the triumph of the skies ; 

Universal Nature, say, 

" Christ, the Lord, is born to-day ! " 

Christ, by highest heaven adored, 
Christ, the everlasting Lord, 
Late in time behold Him come, 
Offspring of the Virgin's womb. 

Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see, 
Hail the Incarnate Deity ! 
Pleased as man with men to appear, 
Jesus, our Immanuel here ! 

Hail the heavenly Prince of Peace ! 
Hail the Sun of Righteousness ! 
Light and life to all He brings, 
Risen with healing in His wings. 

Mild He lays His glory by, 
Born that man no more may die, 
Born to raise the sons of earth, 
Born to give them second birth. 



Come, Desire of Nations, come, 
Fix in us Thy humble home ; 
Rise, the woman's conquering Seed, 
Bruise in us the serpent's head. 

Now display Thy saving power, 
Ruined nature now restore ; 
Now in mystic union join, 
Thine to ours, and ours to Thine. 

Adam's likeness, Lord, efface, 
Stamp Thy image in its place ; 
Second Adam from above, 
Reinstate us in Thy love. 

Let us Thee, though lost, regain ; 
Thee, the Life, the Inner Man; 
Oh ! to all Thyself impart, . 
Formed in each believing heart. 


Mortals awake, with angels join, 
And chant the solemn lay, 

Joy, love, and gratitude combine 
To hail the auspicious day. 

In heaven the rapturous song began, 

And sweet seraphic fire 
Through all the shining regions ran, 

And strung and tuned the lyre. 


Swift through the vast expanse it flew, 

And loud the echo rolled ; 
The theme, the song, the joy was new, 

'Twas more than heaven could hold. 

Down through the portals of the sky, 

The impetuous torrent ran ; 
And angels rushed with eager joy, 

To bear the news to man. 

Wrapt in the silence of the night, 

The world in darkness lay, 
When sudden, glorious, heavenly light, 

Burst in a flood of day. 

Hark, the cherubic armies shout, 

And glory leads the song ; 
Goodwill and peace are heard throughout 

The harmonious heavenly throng. 

Oh for a glance of heavenly love, 
Our hearts and songs to raise, 

Sweetly to bear our souls above, 
And mingle with their lays. 

With joy the chorus we repeat, 

Glory to God on high, 
Goodwill and peace are now complete, 

Jesus was born to die. 

Hail, Prince of Life, for ever hail ! 

Redeemer, Brother, Friend ! 
Though earth, and time, and life shall fail, 

Thy praise shall never end. 



GI.I-.AMED the red sun athwart the misty haze 
Which veiled the cold earth from its loving gaze, 
Feeble and sad as hope in sorrow's hour 
But for thy soul it still had warmth and power ; 
Not to its cheerless beauty wert thou blind ; 
To the keen eye of thy poetic mind 


Beauty still lives, though Nature's flowerets die, 
And wintry sunsets fade along the sky ! 
And nought escaped thee as we strolled along, 
Nor changeful ray, nor bird's faint chirping song, 
Blessed with a fancy easily inspired. 


WHEN first the fiery-mantled Sun 
His heavenly race began to run, 
Round the earth and ocean blue 
His children four the Seasons flew : 

First, in green apparel dancing, 
The young Spring smiled with angel grace ; 

Rosy Summer, next advancing 
Rushed into her sire's embrace 
Her bright-haired sire, who bade her keep 

For ever nearest to his smiles, 
On Calpe's olive-shaded steep, 

Or India's citron-covered isles. 
More remote, and buxom-brown, 

The Queen of Vintage bowed before his throne ; 
A rich pomegranate gemmed her crown, 

A ripe sheaf bound her zone. 

But howling Winter fled afar 
To hills that prop the Polar Star ; 
And loves on deer-borne car to ride, 
With barren darkness at his side, 


Round the shore where loud Lofoden 

Whirls to death the roaring whale, 
Round the hall where Runic Odin 

Howls his war-song to the gale 
Save when adown the ravaged globe 

He travels on his native storm, 
Deflowering Nature's grassy robe 

And trampling on her faded form ; 
Till light's returning Lord assume 

The shaft that drives him to his northern field, 
Of power to pierce his raven plume 

And crystal-covered shield. 

O sire of storms ! whose savage ear 
The Lapland drum delights to hear, 
When Frenzy with her bloodshot eye 
Implores thy dreadful deity 
Archangel ! Power of desolation ! 

Fast descending as thou art, 
Say, hath mortal invocation 

Spells to touch thy stony heart ? 
Then, sullen Winter ! hear my prayer, 

And gently rule the ruined year ; 
Nor chill the wanderer's bosom bare, 

Nor freeze the wretch's falling tear : 
To shuddering Want's unmantled bed 

Thy horror-breathing agues cease to lend, 
And gently on the orphan head 

Of Innocence descend. 

But chiefly spare, O King of clouds, 
The sailor on his airy shrouds, 
When wrecks and beacons strew the steep 
And spectres walk along the deep. 


Milder yet thy snowy breezes 

Pour on yonder tented shores, 
Where the Rhine's broad billow freezes, 

Or the dark-brown Danube roars. 
O winds of Winter ! list ye there 

To many a deep and dying groan? 
Or start, ye demons of the midnight air, 

At shrieks and thunders louder than your own ? 
Alas ! e'en your unhallowed breath 

May spare the victim fallen low ; 
But man will ask no truce to death, 

No bounds to human woe. 


Now beneath the north, 
Alone with Winter in his inmost realm, 
Region of horrors ! Here, amid the roar 
Of winds and waves, the drifted turbulence 
Of hail-mixed snows, resides the ungenial power, 
For ever silent, shivering, and forlorn ! 
From Zembla's cliffs on to the straits surmised 
Of Anian eastward, where both worlds oppose 
Their shores contiguous, lies the Polar Sea, 
One glittering waste of ice, and on the morn 
Casts cold a cheerless light. Lo, hills of snow, 
Hill behind hill, and alp on alp ascend, 
Piled up from eldest age, and to the sun 
Impenetrable ; rising from afar, 


In misty prospect dim, as if on air 
Each floating hill, an azure range of clouds. 
Yet here, even here, in this disastrous clime, 
Horrid and harbourless, where all life dies, 

Baron XordenskioM. 

Adventurous mortals, urged by thirst of gain, 
Through floating isles of ice, and fighting storms, 
Roam the wild waves, in search of doubtful shores, 
By west or east ; a path yet unexplored. 1 

1 The North-East Passage was first made by Baron (then Professor) NonJenskiold 
in 1879. 




NIGHT was again descending, when my mule, 
That all day long had climbed among the clouds, 
Higher and higher still, as by a stair 
Let down from heaven itself, transporting me, 
Stopped, to the joy of both, at that low door 
That door which ever, as self-opened, moves 
To them that knock, and nightly sends abroad 
Ministering Spirits. Lying on the watch, 
Two dogs of grave demeanour welcomed me, 
All meekness, gentleness, though large of limb ; 
And a lay-brother of the Hospital, 
Who, as we toiled below, had heard by fits 
The distant echoes gaining on his ear, 
Came and held fast my stirrup in his hand 
While I alighted. Long I could have stood, 
With a religious awe contemplating 
That House, the highest in the Ancient World, 
And destined to perform from age to age 
The noblest service, welcoming as guests 
All of all nations and of every faith ; 
A temple sacred to Humanity ! 
It was a pile of simplest masonry, 
With narrow windows and vast buttresses, 
Built to endure the shock of time and chance ; 
Yet showing many a rent, as well it might, 
Warred on for ever by the elements, 
And in an evil day, not long ago, 
By violent men when on the mountain-top 
The French and Austrian banners met in conflict. 



On the same rock beside it stood the church, 
Reft of its cross, not of its sanctity; 
The vesper-bell, for 'twas the vesper-hour, 
Duly proclaiming through the wilderness, 
"All ye who hear, whatever be your work, 
Stop for an instant move your lips in prayer ! " 
And, just beneath it, in that dreary dale, 
If dale it might be called, so near to heaven, 
A little lake, where never fish leaped up, 
Lay like a spot of ink amid the snow ; 
A star, the only one in that small sky, 
On its dead surface glimmering. Twas a place 
Resembling nothing I had left behind, 
As if all worldly ties were now dissolved ; 
And, to incline the mind still more to thought, 
To thought and sadness, on the eastern shore 
Under a beetling cliff stood half in gloom 
A lonely chapel destined for the dead, 
For such as, having wandered from their way, 
Had perished miserably. Side by side, 
Within they lie, a mournful company, 
All in their shrouds, no earth to cover them ; 
Their features full of life yet motionless 
In the broad day, nor soon to suffer change, 
Though the barred windows, barred against the wolf, 
Are always open ! But the North blew cold ; 
And, bidden to a spare but cheerful meal, 
I sate among the holy brotherhood 
At their long board. The fare indeed was such 
As is prescribed on days of abstinence, 
But might have pleased a nicer taste than mine ; 
And through the floor came up an ancient crone, 
Serving unseen below ; while from the roof 



(The roof, the floor, the walls of native fir,) 

A lamp hung flickering, such as loves to fling 

Its partial light on Apostolic heads, 

And sheds a grace on all. Theirs Time as yet 

Had changed not. Some were almost in the prime ; 

Nor was a brow o'ercast Seen as they sate, 

Ranged round their ample hearth-stone in an hour 

Of rest, they were as gay, as free from guile, 

As children ; answering, and at once, to all 

The gentler impulses, to pleasure, mirth ; 

Mingling, at intervals, with rational talk 

Music; and gathering news from them that came, 

As of some other world. But when the storm 

Rose, and the snow rolled on in ocean-waves, 

When on his face the experienced traveller fell, 

Sheltering his lips and nostrils with his hands, 

Then all was changed ; and, sallying with their pack 

Into that blank of nature, they became 

Unearthly beings. "Anselm, higher up, 

Just where it drifts, a dog howls loud and long, 

And now, as guided by a voice from Heaven, 

Digs with his feet. That noble vehemence 

Whose can it be, but his who never erred ? 

A man lies underneath ! Let us to work ! 

But who descends MONT VELAN ? 'Tis La Croix. 

Away, away ! if not, alas ! too late. 

Homeward he drags an old man and a boy, 

Faltering and falling, and but half awaked, 

Asking to sleep again." Such their discourse. 

Oft has a venerable roof received me ; 
ST. BRUNO'S once 1 where, when the winds were hushed, 

1 The Grande Chartreuse. 



Nor from the cataract the voice came up, 
You might have heard the mole work underground, 
So great the stillness there ; none seen throughout, 
Save when from rock to rock a hermit crossed 

A dog hoii'ls loud and long. 
And now, as guided by a voice from Heaven, 
Digs with his fett. 

By some rude bridge pr one at midnight tolled 

To matins, and white habits, issuing forth, 

Glided along those aisles interminable, 

All, all observant of the sacred law 

Of silence. Nor is that sequestered spot, 

Once called "Sweet Waters," now "The Shady Vale," 1 

1 Vallambrosa, formerly called Acqua Bella. 


To me unknown ; that house so rich of old, 

So courteous, and, by two that passed that way, 

Amply requited with immortal verse, 

The Poet's payment. But, among them all, 

None can with this compare, the dangerous seat 

Of generous, active Virtue. What though Frost 

Reign everlastingly, and ice and snow 

That not, but gather there is that within, 

Which, where it comes, makes Summer ; and, in thought, 

Oft am I sitting on the bench beneath 

Their garden-plot, where all that vegetates 

Is but some scanty lettuce, to observe 

Those from the South ascending, every step 

As though it were their last, and instantly 

Restored, renewed, advancing as with songs, 

Soon as they see, turning a lofty crag, 

That plain, that modest structure, promising 

Bread to the hungry, to the weary rest. 


My mule refreshed and, let the truth be told, 
He was nor dull nor contradictory, 
But patient, diligent, and sure of foot, 
Shunning the loose stone on the precipice, 
Snorting suspicion while with sight, smell, touch, 
Trying, detecting, where the surface smiled ; 
And with deliberate courage sliding down, 
Where in his sledge the Laplander had turned 
With looks aghast my mule refreshed, his bells 
Jingled once more, the signal to depart, 


And we set out in the grey light of dawn, 

Descending rapidly by waterfalls 

Fast-frozen, and among huge blocks of ice 

That in their long career had stopped mid-way. 

At length, unchecked, unbidden, he stood still ; 

And all his bells were muffled. Then my guide, 

Lowering his voice, addressed me : " Through this gap 

On and say nothing lest a word, a breath 

Bring down a winter's snow enough to whelm 

The armed files that, night and day, were seen 

Winding from cliff to cliff in loose array 

To conquer at MARENGO. Though long since, 

Well I remember how I met them here, 

As the sun set far down, purpling the west ; 

And how NAPOLEON, he himself no less, 

Wrapt in his cloak I could not be deceived 

Reined in his horse, and asked me, as I passed, 

How far 'twas to St. Remi. Where the rock 

Juts forward, and the road, crumbling away, 

Narrows almost to nothing at the base, 

Twas there; and down along the brink he led 

To Victory ! DESAIX, who turned the scale, 

Leaving his life-blood in that famous field, 

(When the clouds break, we may discern the spot 

In the blue haze) sleeps, as you saw at dawn, 

Just where we entered, in the Hospital-church/' 

So saying, for a while he held his peace, 

Awe-struck beneath that dreadful canopy ; 

But soon, the danger passed, launched forth again. 



THE poetry of earth is never dead : 
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun, 
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run 
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead; 
That is the grasshopper's he takes the lead 
In summer luxury he has never done 
With his delights, for when tired out with fun, 
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed. 
The poetry of earth is ceasing never : 
On a lone winter evening, when the frost 
Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills 
The cricket's song, in warmth increasing ever, 
And seems to one in drowsiness half lost 
The grasshopper's among some grassy hills. 

i * 



Now to the utmost southern goal 
The Sun has traced his annual way, 
And backward now prepares to roll, 
And bless the north with earlier day. 
Prone on Potosi's lofty brow, 
Floods of sublimer splendour flow, 
Ripening the latent seeds of gold ; 
Whilst panting in the lonely shade, 
The afflicted Indian hides his head, 
Nor dares the blaze of noon behold. 

But lo ! on this deserted coast, 

How faint the light ! how chill the air ! 

Lo ! armed with whirlwind, hail and frost, 

Fierce Winter desolates the year. 

The fields resign their cheerful bloom ; 

No more the breezes breathe perfume ; 

No more the warbling waters roll : 

Deserts of snow fatigue the eye ; 

Successive tempests bloat the sky, 

And gloomy damps oppress the soul. 

But let my drooping genius rise, 
And hail the Sun's remotest ray : 
Now, now he climbs the northern skies, 
To-morrow nearer than to-day. 
Then, louder howl the stormy waste, 
Be sand and ocean worse defaced, 
Yet brighter hours are on the wing, 
And Fancy, through the wintry gloom, 
Radiant with dews and flowers in bloom 
Already hails the emerging spring. 


fountain of the golden day, 

Could mortal vows but urge thy speed, 
How soon, before the vernal ray, 
Should each unkindly damp recede ! 
How soon each tempest hovering fly, 
That now, fermenting, loads the sky, 
Prompts on our heads to burst amain, 
To rend the forest from the steep, 
And thundering o'er the Baltic deep, 
To 'whelm the merchant's hopes of gain ! 

But let not man's imperfect views 
PresuVne to tax wise Nature's laws : 
'Tis his with silent joy to use 
The indulgence of the Sovereign Cause; 
Secure that from the whole of things 
Beauty and good consummate springs, 
Beyond what he can reach to know, 
And that the providence of Heaven 
Has some peculiar blessing given 
To each allotted state below. 

E'en now how sweet the wintry night 
Spent with the old illustrious dead : 
While by the taper's trembling light, 

1 seem the awful course to tread ; 
Where chiefs and legislators lie, 
Whose triumphs move before my eye, 
W T ith every laurel fresh displayed : 
While, charmed, I rove in classic song, 
Or bend to Freedom's fearless tongue, 
Or walk the academic shade. 



WEE, sleekit, cow'rin', tim'rous beastie, 
Oh, what a panic's in thy breastie 
Thou need na start awa sae hasty, 

Wi' bickering brattle ! 
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee 
Wi' murdering pattle ! 

I'm truly sorry man's dominion 
Has broken Nature's social union, 
An' justifies that ill opinion 

Which makes thee startle 
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion, 

An' fellow-mortal ! 



I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve ; 
What then ? poor beastie, thou maun live ! 
A daimen icker in a thrave 

'S a sma' request : 
I'll get a blessin' wi' the lave, 

And never miss't ! 

Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin ! 
Its silly wa's the win's are strewin ? : 
An' naething, now, to big a new ane, 

O' foggage green ! 
An' bleak December's winds ensuin', 

Baith snell and keen ! 

Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste 
An' weary winter comin' fast, 
An' cozie here, beneath the blast, 

Thou thought to dwell, 
Till, crash ! the cruel coulter past 

Out thro' thy cell. 

That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble 
Has cost thee mony a weary nibble ! 
Now thou's turned out, for a' thy trouble, 

But house or hald, 
To thole the winter's sleety dribble, 

An' cranreuch cauld ! 

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane, 
In proving foresight may be vain : 
The best laid schemes o' mice an' men 

Gang aft a-gley, 
An' lea'e us nought but grief and pain, 

For promised joy. 


Still thou art blest, compared wi' me ! 
The present only toucheth thee : 
But, och ! I backward cast my e'e 

On prospects drear ! 
An' forward, though I canna see, 

I guess an' fear! 


PALE rugged Winter bending o'er his tread, 
His grizzled hair bedropt with icy dew ; 
His eyes, a dusky light, congealed and dead, 
His robe, a tinge of bright ethereal blue ; 

His train, a motley'd, sanguine, sable cloud, 
He limps along the russet dreary moor ; 
Whilst rising whirlwinds, blasting, keen, and loud, 
Roll the white surges to the sounding shore. 


Rising whirlwinds, blasting, keen, and loud, 
Roll the white surges to the sounding shore. 



WHEN Jordan hushed his waters still, 
And silence slept on Zion's hill; 
When Bethlehem's shepherds through the night 
Watched o'er the flocks by starry light : 

Hark ! from the midnight hills around, 
A voice of more than mortal sound 
In distant hallelujahs stole, 
Wild murmurings o'er the raptured soul. 

Then swift to every startled eye 
New streams of glory light the sky ; 
Heaven bursts her azure gates, to pour 
Her spirits to the midnight hour. 

On wheels .of light, on wings of flame, 
The glorious hosts of Zion came; 
High heaven with songs of triumph rung, 
While thus they struck their harps and sung : 

" O Zion ! lift thy raptured eye, 
The long-expected hour is nigh ; 
The joys of nature rise again, 
The Prince of Salem comes to reign. 

" See, Mercy from her golden urn 
Pours a rich stream to those that mourn ! 
Behold, she binds with tender care, 
The bleeding bosom of despair ! 


" He comes ! to cheer the trembling heart, 
Bids Satan and his host depart; 
Again the day-star gilds the gloom ; 
Again the bowers of Eden bloom. 

" O Zion ! lift thy raptured eye, 
The long-expected hour is nigh ; 
The joys of nature rise again, 
The Prince of Salem comes to reign." 



'HAT sudden blaze of song 

Spreads o'er the expanse of heaven ! 
In waves of light it thrills along, 
The angelic signal given 
" Glory to God ! " from yonder central fire, 
Flows out the echoing lay beyond the starry quire ! 

Like circles widening round 

Upon a clear blue river, 
Orb after orb, the wondrous sound 

Is echoed on for ever: 

"(Jlory to God on high, on earth be peace, 
And love towards men of love, salvation and release." 

Yet stay, before they dare 

To join that festal throng ; 
Listen and mark what gentle air 

First stirred the tide of song; 
Tis not "The Saviour born in David's home, 
To Whom for power and health obedient worlds should come. 


Tis not, "The Christ the Lord"- 

With fixed adoring look, 
The choir of angels caught the word, 

Nor yet their silence broke; 

But when they heard the sign, where Christ should be, 
In sudden light they shone and heavenly harmony. 

Wrapped in His swaddling bands, 

And in His manger laid, 
The Hope and Glory of all lands 

Is come to the world's aid : 
No peaceful home upon His cradle smiled, 
Guests rudely went and came, where slept the Royal Child. 

But where Thou dwellest, Lord, 

No other thought should be, 
Once duly welcomed and adored, 

How should I part with Thee ! 

Bethlehem must lose Thee soon ; but Thou wilt grace 
The single heart to be Thy sure abiding-place. 

Thee, on the bosom laid 

Of a pure virgin mind, 
In quiet ever, and in shade, 

Shepherd and sage may find ; 
They who have bowed untaught to Nature's sway, 
And they who follow Truth along her star-paved way. 

The pastoral spirits first 

Approach Thee, Babe Divine ; 
For they in lowly thoughts are nursed, 

Meet for Thy lowly shrine : 

Sooner than they should miss where Thou dost dwell, 
Angels from heaven will stoop to guide them to Thy cell. 


Still as the day comes round 

For Thee to be revealed, 
By wakeful shepherds Thou art found, 

Abiding in the field. 

All through the wintry heaven and chill night air, 
In music and in light Thou dawnest on their prayer. 

Oh faint not ye for fear ; 

What though your wandering sheep, 
Reckless of what they say and hear, 

Lie lost in wilful sleep? 
High Heaven, in mercy to your sad annoy, 
Still greets you with glad tidings of immortal joy. 

Think on the eternal home 

The Saviour left for you ; 
Think on the Lord most holy, come 

To dwell with hearts untrue : 
So shall ye tread untired His pastoral ways, 
And in the darkness sing your carol of high praise. 


CHILDREN dear, I heard ye say, 
"Morrows, haste and haste away, 
Bring the merry Christmas-day ! 

" Blithest carol, sweetest chime, 
Hearts that dance to peal and rhyme, 
Welcome in the happy time ! 


"Starry tree, shine out anew, 
Glittering as with golden dew, 
Gay with fruits of every hue !" 

This is what ye said, I trow : 

Little children hearken now, 

Ere ye pluck the freighted bough ; 

Ponder what the carols mean; 
What the chime rung out between ; 
What the laden evergreen. 

"Glory be to God most high!" 
Sang His angels in the sky, 
When the Lord to men drew nigh. 

" Peace on earth goodwill and peace ; 
Love shall reign, and wrong shall cease ; 
He is born The Prince of Peace!" 

Just for love of us He came, 
Took His sweetly tender name 
Jesus ! stooped to our shame. 

" I will save you," thus He said : 
" I am life : your life is dead ; 
I will give you life instead !" 

Little children, closest prest 
To the loving Saviour's breast, 
Surely ye must love Him best ! 

This is love : to do His will ; 
Speaking truth; forsaking ill; 
Bearing and forbearing still ; 



Battling selfishness within, 
(Where He only sees the sin,) 
Till through Him at last ye win ; 

Sorrowing over every evil wrought ; 
Open deed or secret thought ; 
Straightway doing as ye ought ; 

Blessing all for His dear sake, 
As His blessing ye partake ; 
Happier, thus, His world to make. 

This is love : a service light, 
Done with all your little might ; 
None shall fail to do it right. 

Let your little hearts reply 
To the angels in the sky : 
" Love shall reign eternally ! 

" God is love for evermore : 
Love we Him, and Him adore, 
In the Christ-child born of yore." 

Let your lives ring out His praise, 
Like a chime His finger sways; 
Sweet as carols be your days. 

Beautiful with holiness, 

Let your daily deeds confess 

In whose Name ye seek to bless. 

This is what the carols mean ; 
What the chime rung clear between ; 
What the bounteous evergreen. 




FROM frozen climes, and endless tracts of snow, 
From streams which northern winds forbid to flow, 
What present shall the Muse to Dorset bring, 
Or how, so near the pole, attempt to sing? 
The hoary winter here conceals from sight 
All pleasing objects which to verse invite. 
The hills -and dales, and the delightful woods, 
The flowery plains, and silver-streaming floods, 
By snow disguised, in bright confusion lie, 
And with one dazzling waste fatigue the eye. 

No gentle-breathing breeze prepares the spring, 
No birds within the desert region sing. 


The ships unmoved, the boisterous winds defy, 
While rattling chariots o'er the ocean fly. 
The vast Leviathan wants room to play, 
And spout his waters in the face of day. 
The starving wolves along the main sea prowl, 
And to the moon in icy valleys howl. 
O'er many a shining league the level main 
Here spreads itself into a glassy plain ; 
There solid billows of enormous size, 
Alps of green ice, in wild disorder rise. 

And yet, but lately, have I seen, e'en here, 
The winter in a lovely dress appear. 
Ere yet the clouds let fall the treasured snow, 
Or winds begun through hazy skies to blow ; 
At evening a keen eastern breeze arose, 
And the descending rain unsullied froze. 
Soon as the silent shades of night withdrew, 
The ruddy morn disclosed at once to view 
The face of Nature in a rich disguise, 
And brightened every object to my eyes : 
For every shrub, and every blade of grass, 
And every pointed thorn, seemed wrought in glass : 
In pearls and rubies rich the hawthorn show, 
While through the ice the crimson berries glow. 
The thick-sprung reeds, which watery marshes yield, 
Seemed polished lances in a hostile field. 
The stag, in limpid currents, with surprise, 
Sees crystal branches on his forehead rise : 
The spreading oak, the beech, and towering pine, 
Glazed over, in the freezing ether shine, 
The frighted birds the rattling branches shun, 
Which wave and glitter in the distant sun. 


When, if a sudden gust of wind arise, 
The brittle forest into atoms flies; 
The crackling wood beneath the tempests bends, 
And in a spangled shower the prospect ends; 
Or if a southern gale the region warm, 
And by degrees unbind the wintry charm, 
The traveller a miry country sees, 
And journeys sad beneath the dropping trees : 
Like some deluded peasant, Merlin leads, 
Through fragrant bowers, and through delicious meads 
While here enchanted gardens to him rise, 
And airy fabrics there attract his eyes; 
His wandering feet the magic paths pursue, 
And, while he thinks the fair illusion true, 
The trackless scenes disperse in fluid air, 
And woods, and wild, and thorny ways appear : 
A tedious road the weary wretch returns, 
And as he goes, the transient vision mourns. 


VIEW now the winter storm ! above, one cloud, 
Black and unbroken, all the skies o'ershroud : 
The unwieldy porpoise through the day before 
Had rolled in view of boding men on shore ; 
And sometimes hid and sometimes showed his form, 
Dark as the cloud, and furious as the storm. 


All where the eye delights, yet dreads to roam, 
The breaking billows cast the flying foam, 
Upon the billows rising all the deep 
Is restless change ; the waves so swelled and steep, 
Breaking and sinking, and the sunken swells, 
Nor one, one moment, in its station dwells : 
But nearer land you may the billows trace, 
As if contending in their watery chase ; 
May watch the mightiest till the shoal they reach, 
Then break and hurry to their utmost stretch ; 
Curled as they come, they strike with furious force, 
And then re-flowing, take their grating course, 
Raking the rounded flints, which ages past 
Rolled by their rage, and shall to ages last. 

Far off the Petrel in the troubled way 
Swims with her brood, or flutters in the spray ; 
She rises often, often drops again, 
And sports at ease on the tempestuous main. 

High o'er the restless deep, above the reach 
Of gunner's hope, vast flights of wild ducks stretch ; 
Far as the eye can glance on either side, 
In a broad space and level line they glide; 
All in their wedge-like figures from the north, 
Day after day, flight after flight, go forth. 

In-shore their passage tribes of sea-gulls urge, 
And drop for prey within the sweeping surge ; 
Oft in the rough opposing blast they fly 
Far back, then turn, and all their force apply, 
While to the storm they give their weak complaining cry ; 
Or clap the sleek white pinion to the breast, 
And in the restless ocean dip for rest 


Far off the Petrel in the troubled way 
Swims 'with her brood, or flutters in the spray', 
She rises often, often drops again, 
And sports at ease on the tempestuous main. 



IT was the calm and silent night ! 
Seven hundred years and fifty-three 
Had Rome been growing up to might, 
And now was queen of land and sea. 
No sound was heard of clashing wars, 
Peace brooded o'er the hushed domain ; 
Apollo, Pallas, Jove, and Mars 
Held undisturbed their ancient reign, 
In the solemn midnight, 
Centuries ago. 

Twas in the calm and silent night ! 

The senator of haughty Rome 

Impatient urged his chariot's flight, 

From lordly revel rolling home; 

Triumphal arches, gleaming, swell 

His breast with thoughts of boundless sway. 

What recked the Roman what befell 

A paltry province far away, 

In the solemn midnight, 
Centuries ago? 

Within that province far away 
Went plodding home a weary boor; 
A streak of light before him lay, 
Fallen through a half-shut stable-door 


Across his path. He passed for naught 
Told what was going on within ! 
How keen the stars, his only thought, 
The air how calm, and cold, and thin, 
In the solemn midnight, 
Centuries ago ! 

O strange indifference ! low and high 
Drowsed over common joys and cares ; 
The earth was still, but knew not why 
The world was listening, unawares. 
How calm a moment may precede 
One that shall thrill the world for ever ! 
To that still moment none would heed 
Man's doom was linked, no more to sever, - 
In the solemn midnight, 
Centuries ago ! 

It is the calm and silent night ! 
A thousand bells ring out, and throw 
Their joyous peals abroad, and smite 
The darkness charmed and holy now ! 
The night that erst no name had worn, 
To it a happy name is given ; 
For in the stable lay, new-born, 
The peaceful Prince of earth and heaven, 
In the solemn midnight, 
Centuries ago ! 



WINTER my theme confines ; whose nitry wind 
Shall crust the slabby mire, and kennels bind ; 
She bids the snow descend in flaky sheets, 
And in her hoary mantle clothe the streets. 
Let not the virgin tread these slippery roads, 
The gathering fleece the hollow patten loads ; 
But if thy footstep slide with clotted frost, 
Strike off the breaking balls against the post 
On silent wheel the passing coaches roll ; 
Oft look behindhand ward the threatening pole. 
In hardened orbs the school-boy moulds the snow, 
To mark the coachman with a dext'rous throw. 
Why do ye, boys, the kennel's surface spread, 
To tempt with faithless pass the matron's tread? 
How can you laugh to see the damsel spurn, 
Sink in your frauds, and her green stocking mourn ? 
At White's the harnessed chairman idly stands, 
And swings around his waist his tingling hands ; 
The sempstress speeds to change with red-tipt nose; 
The Belgian stove beneath her footstool glows; 
In half-whipt muslin needles useless lie, 
And shuttle-cocks across the counter fly. 

Where Covent Garden's famous temple stands, 
That boasts the work of Jones' immortal hands ; 
Columns with plain magnificence appear, 
And graceful porches lead along the square : 



How oft my course I bend ; when lo ! from far 
I spy the furies of the foot-ball war : 
The 'prentice quits his shop, to join the crew, 
Increasing crowds the flying game pursue. 
Thus, as you roll the ball o'er snowy ground, 
The gathering globe augments with every round. 
But whither shall I run ? the throng draws nigh, 
The ball now skims the street, now soars on high ; 
The dext'rous glazier strong returns the bound, 
And jingling sashes on the pent-house sound. 

O roving muse ! recall that wondrous year, 
When Winter reigned in bleak Britannia's air ; 
When hoary Thames, with frosted oziers crowned, 
Was three long moons in icy fetters bound. 
The waterman^ forlorn, along the shore, 
Pensive reclines upon his useless oar ; 
See harnessed steeds desert the stony town, 
And wander roads unstable, not their own ; 
Wheels o'er the hardened waters smoothly glide, 
And rase with whitened tracks the slippery tide ; 
Here the fat cook piles high the blazing fire, 
And scarce the spit can turn the steer entire; 
Booths sudden hide the Thames, long streets appear, 
And numerous games proclaim the crowded fair. 




GOD help thee, Traveller, on thy journey far : 
The wind is bitter keen, the snow o'erlays 
The hidden pits, and dangerous hollow-ways, 
And darkness will involve thee. No kind star 
To-night will guide thee, Traveller, and the war 
Of winds and elements on thy head will break, 
And in thy agonising ear the shriek 
Of spirits howling on their stormy car 
Will often ring appalling. I portend 

A dismal night, and on my wakeful bed 
Thoughts, Traveller, of thee, will fill my head, 
And him who rides where winds and waves contend, 
And strives, rude cradled on the seas, to guide 
His lonely bark through the tempestuous tide. 




ow faintly smile day's hasty hours, 

The fields and gardens mourn ; 
Nor ruddy fruits, nor blooming flowers 
Stern Winter's brow adorn. 

Stern Winter throws his icy chains, 

Encircling nature round : 
How bleak, how comfortless the plains, 

Late with gay verdure crowned ! 

The Sun withdraws his vital beams, 
And light and warmth depart, 

And drooping, lifeless, nature seems 
An emblem of my heart, 

My heart, where mental winter reigns, 
In night's dark mantle clad, 

Confined in cold inactive chains, 
How desolate and sad ! 

Ere long the Sun, with genial ray, 
JShall cheer the mourning earth, 
And blooming flowers and verdure gay 
Renew their annual birth. 

So if my soul's bright Sun impart 

His all-enlivening smile, 
The vital ray shall cheer my heart ; 

Till then, a frozen soil. 


Then faith, and hope, and love, shall rise, 

Renewed to lively bloom, 
And breathe accepted to the skies 

Their humble, sweet perfume. 

Return, O blissful Sun, and bring 

Thy soul-reviving ray ; 
This mental winter shall be spring, 

This darkness cheerful day. 

But while to this low world confined, 
Where changeful seasons roll, 

My blooming pleasures will decline, 
And winter pain my soul. 

O happy state, divine abode, 

Where spring eternal reigns, 
And perfect day, the smile of God, 

Fills all the heavenly plains ! 

Great Source of light, Thy beams display, 

My drooping joys restore, 
And guide me to the seats of day 

Where winter frowns no more. 




THE. snow has left the cottage top ; 
The thatch-moss grows in brighter green 
And eaves in quick succession drop, 
Where grinning icicles have been ; 
Pit-patting with a pleasant noise 

In tubs set by the cottage-door ; 
While ducks and geese, with happy joys, 
Plunge in the yard-pond brimming o'er. 

The sun peeps through the window-pane ; 

Which children mark with laughing eye, 
And in the wet street steal again, 

To tell each other Spring is nigh : 
Then, as young hope the past recalls, 

In playing groups they often draw, 
To build beside the sunny walls 

Their spring-time huts of sticks or straw. 

And oft in pleasure's dreams they hie 

Round homesteads by the village side, 
Scratching the hedgerow mosses by, 

Where painted pooty-shells 1 abide ; 
Mistaking oft the ivy spray 

For leaves that come with budding Spring, 
And wondering, in their search for play, 

Why birds delay to build and sing. 

1 Snail-shells, Midland provincialism. 



The milkmaid singing leaves her bed, 

As glad as happy thoughts can be, 
While magpies chatter o'er her head 

As jocund in the change as she : 
Her cows around the closes stray, 

Nor lingering wait the foddering boy ; 
Tossing the mole-hills in their play, 

And staring round with frolic joy. 

The shepherd now is often seen 

Near warm banks o'er his hook to bend ; 
Or o'er a gate or stile to lean, 

Chattering to a passing friend : 
Ploughmen go whistling to their toils, 

And yoke again the rested plough ; 
And, mingling o'er the mellow soils, 

Boys shout, and whips are noising now. 

The barking dogs, by lane and wood, 

Drive sheep a-field from foddering ground ; 
And Echo, in her summer mood, 

Briskly mocks the cheering sound. 
The flocks, as from a prison broke, 

Shake their wet fleeces in the sun, 
While, following fast, a misty smoke 

Reeks from the moist grass as they run. 

No more behind his master's heels 

The dog creeps on his winter-pace ; 
But cocks his tail, and o'er the fields 

Runs many a wild and random chase, 
Following, in spite of chiding calls, 

The startled cat with harmless glee, 
Scaring her up the weed-green walls, 

Or mossy mottled apple-tree. 


As crows from morning perches fly, 

He barks and follows them in vain ; 
E'en larks will catch his nimble eye, 

And off he starts and barks again, 
With breathless haste and blinded guess, 

Oft following where the hare hath gone ; 
Forgetting, in his joy's excess, 

His frolic puppy-days are done ! 

The hedgehog, from his hollow root, 

Sees the wood-moss clear of snow, 
And hunts the hedge for fallen fruit 

Crab, hip, and winter-bitten sloe; 
But often checked by sudden fears, 

As shepherd-dog his haunt espies, 
He rolls up in a ball of spears, 

And all his barking rage defies. 

The gladdened swine bolt from the sty, 

And round the yard in freedom run, 
Or stretching in their slumbers lie 

Beside the cottage in the sun. 
The young horse whinnies to his mate, 

And, sickening from the thresher's door, 
Rubs at the straw-yard's banded gate, 

Longing for freedom on the moor. 

The small birds think their wants are o'er, 
To see the snow-hills fret again, 

And, from the barn's chaff-littered door, 
Betake them to the greening plain. 

The woodman's robin startles coy, 
Nor longer to his elbow comes, 

To peck, with hunger's eager joy, 

'Mong mossy stumps the littered crumbs. 


'Neath hedge and walls that screen the wind, 

The gnats for play will flock together ; 
And e'en poor flies some hope will find 

To venture in the mocking weather ; 
From out their hiding-holes again, 

With feeble pace, they often creep 
Along the sun-warmed window-pane, 

Like dreaming things that walk in sleep. 

The mavis thrush, with wild delight, 

Upon the orchard's dripping tree, 
Mutters, to see the day so bright, 

Fragments of young Hope's poesy : 
And oft Dame stops her buzzing wheel 

To hear the robin's note once more, 
Who tootles while he pecks his meal, 

From sweet-briar hips beside the door. 

The sunbeams on the hedges lie, 

The south wind murmurs summer soft : 
The maids hang out white clothes to dry 

Around the elder-skirted croft : 
A calm of pleasure listens round, 

And almost whispers Winter by; 
While Fancy dreams of Summer's sound, 

And quiet rapture fills the eye. 

Thus Nature of the Spring will dream 

While south winds thaw; but soon again 
Frost breathes upon the stiffening stream, 

And numbs it into ice : the plain 
Soon wears its mourning garb of white ; 

And icicles, that fret at noon, 
Will eke their icy tails at night 

Beneath the chilly stars and moon. 


Nature soon sickens of her joys, 

And all is sad and dumb again, 
Save merry shouts of sliding boys 

About the frozen furrowed plain. 
The foddering-boy forgets his song, 

And silent goes with folded arms ; 
And croodling shepherds bend along, 

Crouching to the whizzing storms. 



p in the morning's no' for me, 

Up in the morning early ; 
When a' the hills are covered wi' snaw, 
I'm sure it's winter fairly. 

Cauld blaws the wind frae east to west, 
The drift is driving sairly ; 

Sae loud and shrill's I hear the blast, 
I'm sure it's winter fairly. 

The birds sit chittering in the thorn, 
A' day they fare but sparely ; 

And lang's the night frae e'en to morn, 
I'm sure it's winter fairly. 



I SING the birth was born to-night, 
The Author both of life and light ; 

The angel so did sound it, 
And like the ravished shepherds said, 
Who saw the light and were afraid, 

Yet searched, and true they found it. 

The Son of God, the Eternal King, 
That did us all salvation bring, 

And freed the soul from danger ; 
He whom the whole world could not take, 
The Word, which heaven and earth did make, 

Was now laid in a manger. 

The Father's wisdom willed it' so, 
The Son's obedience knew no No, 

Both wills were in one stature ; 
And as that wisdom had decreed, 
The Word was now made Flesh indeed, 

And took on Him our nature. 

What comfort by Him do we win, 
Who made Himself the Prince of sin, 

To make us heirs of glory ! 
To see this Babe all innocence, 
A Martyr born in our defence : 

Can man forget this story ? 





HOUGH Night approaching bids for rest prepare, 
Still the flail echoes through the frosty air, 
Sending at length the weary labourer home. 

Throughout the yard, housed round on every side, 
Deep-plunging anus their rust/ing feast enjoy. 

From him, with bed and nightly food supplied, 
Throughout the yard, housed round on every side, 



Deep-plunging cows their rustling feast enjoy, 
And snatch sweet mouthfuls from the passing boy, 
Who moves unseen beneath his trailing load, 
Fills the tall racks, and leaves a scattered road ; 
Where oft the swine from ambush warm and dry 
Bolt out, and scamper headlong to their stye, 
When Giles with well-known voice, already there, 
Deigns them a portion of his evening care. 


OVER the ground white snow, and in the air 
Silence. The stars, like lamps soon to expire, 
Gleam tremblingly; serene and heavenly fair, 
The eastern hanging crescent climbeth higher. 
See, purple on the azure softly steals, 
And Morning, faintly touched with quivering fire, 
Leans on the frosty summits of the hills, 
Like a young girl over her hoary sire. 
Oh, such a dawning over me has come, 
The daybreak of Thy purity and love; 
The sadness of the never satiate tomb 
Thy countenance hath power to remove ; 
And from the sepulchre of Hope Thy palm 
Can roll the stone, and raise her bright and calm. 



TWAS night our anchored vessel slept 
Out on the glassy sea; 
And still as heaven the waters kept, 
And golden bright as he, 
The setting Sun, went sinking slow 

Beneath the eternal wave ; 
And the ocean seemed a pall to throw 
Over the monarch's grave. 

There was no motion of the air 

To raise the sleeper's tress, 
And no wave-building winds were there 

On ocean's loveliness ; 
But ocean mingled with the sky 

With such an equal hue 
That vainly strove the 'wildered eye 

To part their gold and blue. 

And ne'er a ripple of the sea 

Came on our steady gaze, 
Save when some timorous fish stole out 

To bathe in the woven blaze, 
When, floating in the light that played 

All over the resting main, 
He would sink beneath the wave, and dart 

To his deep blue home again. 


Yet, while we gazed, that sunny eve, 

Across the twinkling deep, 
A form came ploughing the golden wave, 

And rending its holy sleep ; 
It blushed bright red while growing on 

Our fixed, half-fearful gaze ; 
But it wandered down, with its glow of light, 

And its robe of sunny rays. 

It seemed like molten silver, thrown 

Together in floating flame ; 
And as we looked, we named it, then, 

The fount whence all colours came : 
There were rainbows furled with a careless grace, 

And the brightest red that glows ; 
The purple amethyst there had place, 

And the hues of a full-blown rose. 

And the vivid green, as the sun-lit grass 

Where the pleasant rain hath been ; 
And the ideal hues, that, thought-like, pass 

Through the minds of fanciful men ; 
They beamed full clear and that form moved on, 

Like one from a burning grave ; 
And we dared not think it a real thing, 

But for the rustling wave. 

The sun just lingered in our view, 

From the burning edge of ocean, 
When by our bark that bright one passed 

With a deep, disturbing motion : 
The far down waters shrank away 

With a gurgling rush upheaving, 
And the lifted waves grew pale and sad, 

Their mother's bosom leaving. 


Yet, as it passed our bending stern, 

In its throne-like glory going, 
It crushed on a hidden rock, and turned 

Like an empire's overthrowing. 
The uptorn waves rolled hoar, and huge, 

The far-thrown undulations 
Swelled out in the Sun's last, lingering smile, 

And fell like battling nations. 


WITH footstep slow, in furry pall yclad, 
His brows enwreathed with holly never sere, 
Old Christmas comes, to close the waned year 
And aye the shepherd's heart to make right glad ; 
Who, when his teeming flocks are homeward had, 
To blazing hearth repairs and nut-brown beer, 
And views, well pleased, the ruddy prattlers dear 
Hug the grey mongrel ; meanwhile maid and lad 
Squabble for roasted crabs. Thee, sire, we hail, 
Whether thine aged limbs thou dost enshroud 
In vests of snowy white and hoary veil, 
Or wrapp'st thy visage in a sable cloud ; 
Thee we proclaim with mirth and cheer, nor fail 
To greet thee well with many a carol loud 



(Sixteenth Century.') 

WAS not Christ our Saviour 
Sent unto us from God above, 
Not for our good behaviour, 
But only of His mercy and love ? 
If this be true, as true it is, 

Truly indeed ; 

Great thanks to God to yield for this 
Then had we need. 

This did our God for very troth, 

To train to Him the soul of man, 
And justly to perform His oath 

To Sarah, and to Abraham, than 
That through his seed all nations should 

Most blessed be, 

As in due time performed, He would 
All flesh should see. 

Which wondrously is brought to pass, 

And in our sight already done, 
By sending, as His promise was, 

(To comfort us) His only Son, 
Even Christ, I mean, that virgin's Child 

In Bethlehem born : 
That Lamb of God, that Prophet mild, 
With crowned thorn. 


Such was His love, to save us all, 

From dangers of the curse of God, 
That we stood in by Adam's fall, 
And by our own deserved rod. 
That through His blood and holy name, 

All that believe, 

And fly from sin, and abhor the same, 
Shall grace receive. 

For this glad news, this feast doth bring, 

To God, the Son, and Holy Ghost, 
Let man give thanks, rejoice and sing, 

From world to world, from coast to coast. 
For other gifts in many ways, 
That God doth send : 
Let us in Christ give God the praise, 
Till life shall end. 


LAST night as I lay sleeping, 
When all my prayers were said, 
With my guardian angel keeping 
His watch above my head ; 
I heard his sweet voice carolling, 

Full softly on my ear, 
A song for Christian boys to sing, 
For Christian men to hear. 


" Thy body be at rest, dear boy, 

Thy soul be free from sin ; 
I'll shield thee from the world's annoy, 

And breathe pure words within. 
The holy Christmas-tide is nigh, 

The season of Christ's birth : 
Glory be to God on high, 

And peace to men on earth. 

" Myself and all the heavenly host 

Were keeping watch of old, 
And saw the shepherds at their posts, 

And all the sheep in fold. 
Then told we with a joyful cry, 

The tidings of Christ's birth ; 
Glory be to God on high, 

And peace to men on earth. 

" He bowed to all His Father's will, 

And meek He was and lowly.; 
And year by year His thoughts were still 

Most innocent and holy. 
He did not come to strive or cry, 

But ever from His birth, 
Gave glory unto God on high, 

And peace to men on earth. 

" Like Him be true, like Him be pure, 

Like Him be full of love ; 
Seek not thine own, and so secure 

Thine own that is above. 
And still when Christmas-tide draws nigh, 

Sing thou of Jesus' birth : 
Glory be to God on high, 

And peace to men on earth." 



LD Winter is the man for me, 

Stout-hearted, sound, and steady ; 
Steel nerves and bones of brass hath he ; 
Come snow, come blow, he's ready. 

If ever man was well, 'tis he ; 

He keeps no fire in his chamber, 
And yet from cold and cough is free 

In bitterest December. 

He dresses him out-doors at morn, 
Nor needs he first to warm him ; 

Toothache and rheumatis' he'll scorn, 
And colic don't alarm him. 

In summer, when the woodland rings, 
He asks, " What mean these noises ? " 

Warm sounds he hates, and all warm things 
Most heartily despises. 

But when the fox's bark is loud ; 

When the bright hearth is snapping ; 
When children round the chimney crowd, 

All shivering and clapping ; 

When stone and bone with frost do break, 
And pond and lake are cracking, 

Then you may see his old sides shake, 
Such glee his frame is racking. 


Near the North Pole, upon the strand, 

He has an icy tower; 
Likewise in lovely Switzerland 

He keeps a summer bower. 

In lovely Switzerland 
He keeps a summer bower. 

So up and down, now here, now there, - 

His regiments manoeuvre ; 
When he goes by we stand and stare, 

And cannot choose but shiver. 




' Poor naked wretches, wheresoe'er you are. 
That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm, 
How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides, 
Your looped and windowed raggedness, defend you 
From seasons such as these ? " 


WHEN biting Boreas, fell and doure, 
Sharp shivers through the leafless bower ; 
When Phoebus gies a short-lived glower 

Far south the lift, 

Dim-darkening through the flaky shower, 
Or whirling drift : 

Ae night the storm the steeples rocked, 
Poor Labour sweet in sleep was locked, 
While burns, wi' snawy wreaths up-choked, 

Wild-eddying swirl, 
Or through the mining outlet bocked, 

Down headlong hurl. 

Listening, the doors an' winnocks rattle, 
I thought me on the ourie cattle, 
Or silly sheep, wha bide this brattle 

O' winter war, 
And through the drift, deep-lairing, sprattle 

Beneath a scaur. 


Ilk happing bird, wee helpless thing ! 
That in the merry months o' spring, 
Delighted me to hear thee sing, 

What comes o' thee? 

Whare wilt thou cower thy chittering wing, 
An' close thy e'e ? 

E'en you on murdering errands toiled 
Lone from your savage homes exiled, 
The blood-stained roost, the sheep-cote spoiled, 

My heart forgets, 
While pitiless the tempest wild 

Sore on you beats. 

Now Phoebe, in her midnight reign, 
Dark-muffled, viewed the dreary plain ; 
Still crowding thoughts, a pensive train, 

Rose in my soul, 
When on my ear this plaintive strain, 

Slow, solemn, stole 

" Blow, blow, ye winds, with heavier gust ! 
And freeze, thou bitter-biting frost ! 
Descend, ye chilly smothering snows ! 
Not all your rage, as now united, shows 

More hard unkindness, unrelenting, 

Vengeful malice, unrepenting, 

Than heaven-illumined man on brother man bestows. 
See stern Oppression's iron grip, 

Or mad Ambition's gory hand, 
Sending, like bloodhounds from the slip, 
Woe, want, and murder o'er a land ! 


E'en in the peaceful rural vale, 

Truth, weeping, tells the mournful tale, 
How pampered Luxury, Flattery by her side, 

The parasite empoisoning her ear, 

With all the servile wretches in the rear, 
Looks o'er proud Property extended wide; 

And eyes the simple rustic hind, 

Whose toil upholds the glittering show, 

A creature of another kind, 

Some coarser substance, unrefined, 
Placed for her lordly use thus far, thus vile, below. 

Where, where is Love's fond, tender throe, 

With lordly Honour's lofty brow, 

The powers you proudly own ? 

Is there, beneath Love's noble name, 

Can harbour, dark, the selfish aim, 
To bless himself alone ! 

Mark maiden-innocence a prey 
To love-pretending snares ; 

This boasted Honour turns away, 

Shunning soft Pity's rising sway, 
Regardless of the tears and unavailing prayers ! 

Perhaps, this hour, in Misery's squalid nest, 

She strains your infant to her joyless breast, 
^\nd with a mother's fears shrinks at the rocking blast ! 
Oh ye ! who sunk in beds of down, 

Feel not a want but what yourselves create, 

Think for a moment on his wretched fate, 

Whom friends and fortune quite disown ! 
Ill-satisfied keen Nature's clam'rous call, 

Stretched on his straw he lays himself to sleep, 
While through the ragged roof and chinky wall, 

Chill o'er his slumbers piles the drifty heap! 


Think on the dungeon's grim confine, 
Where Guilt and poor Misfortune pine ! 
Guilt, erring man, relentless view ! 
But shall thy legal rage pursue 
The wretch, already crushed low 
By cruel fortune's undeserved blow? 

Affliction's sons are brothers in distress ; 

A brother to relieve, how exquisite the bliss ! " 

I heard nae mair, for Chanticleer 
Shook off the pouthery snaw, 

And hailed the morning wi' a cheer, 
A cottage-rousing craw. 

But deep this truth impressed my mind 
Through all His works abroad, 

The heart benevolent and kind, 
The most resembles God. 


A CHEER for the snow the drifting snow ; 
Smoother and purer than Beauty's brow ; 
The creature of thought scarce likes to tread 
On the delicate carpet so richly spread. 
With feathery wreaths the forest is bound, 
And the hills are with glittering diadems crowned : 
Tis the scene we can have below, 
Sing, welcome then, to the drifting snow ! 




WHILE the bald trees stretch forth their long lank arms, 
And starving birds peck nigh the reeky farms ; 
While houseless cattle paw the yellow field, 
Or coughing shiver in the pervious beild, 1 
And nought more gladsome in the hedge is seen 
Than the dark holly's grimly glistening green 
At such a time the ancient year goes by 
To join its parents in eternity 
At such a time the merry year is born, 
Like the bright berry from the naked thorn. 

The bells ring out ; the hoary steeple rocks 
Hark ! the long story of a score of clocks ; 
For, once a year, the village clocks agree, 
E'en clocks unite to sound the hour of glee 
And every cottage has a light awake, 
Unusual stars long flicker o'er the lake. 
The moon on high, if any moon be there, 
May peep, or wink, no mortal now will care, 
For 'tis the season when the nights are long, 
There's time, ere morn, for each to sing his song. 

The year departs, a blessing on his head, 
We mourn not for it, for it is not dead : 
Dead ! What is that ? A word to joy unknown, 
Which love abhors, and faith will never own ; 
A word whose meaning sense could never find, 
That has no truth in matter, nor in mind. 
l ffa'M t shdter. 


The passing breezes, gone as soon as felt, 
The flakes of snow, that in the soft air melt, 
The wave, that whitening curls its frothy crest 
And falls to sleep upon its mother's breast, 

The bells ring out', the hoary steeple' rocks 
Hark ! the long story of a score of clocks ; 
For, once a year, the village clocks agree, 
E'en clocks unite to sound the hour of glee. 

The smile, that sinks into a maiden's eye, 

They come, they go, they change, they do not die. 

So the old year that fond and formal name 

Is with us yet, another and the same. 

And are the thoughts that evermore are fleeing, 

The moments that make up our being's being, 


The silent workings of unconscious love, 

Or the dull hate which clings and will not move 

In the dark caverns of the gloomy heart, 

The fancies, wild and horrible, which start 

Like loathsome reptiles from their crankling holes, 

From foul, neglected corners of our souls, 

Are these less vital than the wave or wind, 

Or snow that melts and leaves no trace behind ? 

Oh ! let them perish all, or pass away, 

And let our spirits feel a New Year's day. 

A New Year's day 'tis but a term of art, 
An arbitrary line upon the chart 
Of Time's unbounded sea fond fancy's creature, 
To Reason alien, and unknown to Nature 
Nay 'tis a joyful day, a day of hope ! 
Bound, merry dancer, like an antelope ; 
And as that lovely creature, far from man, 
Gleams through the spicy groves of Hindostan, 
Flash through the labyrinth of the mazy dance, 
With foot as nimble, and as keen a glance. 

And we, whom many New Year's days have told 
The sober truth, that we are growing old 
For this one night aye, and for many more, 
Will be as jocund as we were of yore. 
Kind hearts can make December blithe as May, 
And in each morrow find a New Year's day. 



ORPHAN hours, the year is dead; 
Come and sigh, come and weep ; 
Merry hours smile instead, 
For the year is but asleep : 
See, it smiles as it is sleeping, 
Mocking your untimely weeping. 

As an earthquake rocks a corse 

In its coffin in the clay, 
So white Winter, that rough nurse, 

Rocks the dead-cold year to-day. 
Solemn hours ! wail aloud 
For your mother in her shroud. 

As the wild air stirs and sways 

The tree-swung cradle of a child, 

So the breath of these rude days 

Rocks the year : be calm and mild, 

Trembling hours ; she will arise 

With new love within her eyes. 

January grey is here, 

Like a sexton by her grave ; 
February bears the bier, 

March with grief doth howl and rave ; 
And April weeps but, O ye hours ! 
Follow with May's fairest flowers. 



"A Tow, if I fall, will it be my lot 
I \ To be cast in some lone and lowly spot, 
To melt, and to sink unseen or forgot ? 
And there will my course be ended?" 
T\vas this a feathery Snow-flake said, 
As down through measureless space it strayed, 
Or as, half by dalliance, half-afraid, 
It seemed in mid-air suspended. 

"Oh no!" said the Earth, "thou shalt not lie 
Neglected and lone on my lap to die, 
Thou pure and delicate child of the sky ! 

For thou wilt be safe in my keeping. 
But, then, I must give thee a lovelier form . 
Thou wilt not be a part of the wintry storm, 
But revive, when the sunbeams are yellow and warm, 

And the flowers from my bosom are peeping ! 

" And then thou shalt have thy choice, to be 
Restored in the lily that decks the lea, 
In the jessamine-bloom, the anemone, 

Or aught of thy spotless whiteness : 
To melt, and be cast in a glittering bead, 
With the pearls that the night scatters over the mead, 
In the cup where the bee and the firefly feed, 

Regaining thy dazzling brightness. 

" I'll let thee awake from thy transient sleep, 
When Viola's mild blue eye shall weep, 
In a tremulous tear ; or, a diamond, leap 


In a drop from the unlocked fountain ; 
Or, leaving the valley, the meadow, and heath, 
The streamlet, the flowers, and all beneath, 
Go up and be wove in the silvery wreath 

Encircling the brow of the mountain. 

"Or, wouldst thou return to a home in the skies, 
To shine in the Iris I'll let thee arise, 
And appear in the many and glorious dyes 

A pencil of sunbeams is blending ! 
But true, fair thing, as my name is Earth, 
I'll give thee a new and vernal birth, 
When thou shalt recover thy primal worth, 

And never regret descending ! " 

"Then I will drop," said the trusting Flake; 
"But, bear it in mind, that the choice I make 
Is not in the flowers, nor the dew to wake ; 

Nor the mist, that shall pass with the morning. 
For, things of thyself, they will die with thee: 
But those that are lent from on high, like me, 
Must rise, and will live, from thy dust set free, 

To the regions above returning. 

" And if true to thy word and just thou art, 
Like the spirit that dwells in the holiest heart, 
Unsullied by thee, thou wilt let me depart, 

And return to my native heaven. 
For I would be placed in the beautiful bow, 
From time to time, in thy sight to glow ; 
So thou mayst remember the Flake of Snow, 

By the promise that GOD hath given ! " 


And the quiet lake shall /eel 
The torpid touch o/ his glazing breath, ami ring to the skater's heel. 


HE comes he comes the Frost Spirit comes ! You may trace 
his footsteps now 
On the naked woods and the blasted fields and the brown 

hill's withered brow. 
He has smitten the leaves of the grey old trees where their pleasant 

green came forth, 

And the winds, which follow wherever he goes, have shaken them 
down to earth. 


He comes he comes the Frost Spirit comes ! from the frozen 

From the icy bridge of the Northern seas, which the white bear 

wanders o'er 
Where the fisherman's sail is stiff with ice, and the luckless forms 

In the sunless cold of the lingering night into marble statues grow ! 

He comes he comes the Frost Spirit comes ! on the rushing 

Northern blast, 
And the dark Norwegian pines have bowed as his fearful breath 

went past. 
With an unscorched wing he has hurried on, where the fires of 

Hecla glow 
On the darkly beautiful sky above and the ancient ice below. 

He comes he comes the Frost Spirit comes ! and the quiet lake 

shall feel 
The torpid touch of his glazing breath, and ring to the skater's 

And the streams which danced on the broken rocks, or sang to the 

leaning grass, 
Shall bow again to their winter chain, and in mournful silence pass. 

He comes he comes the Frost Spirit comes ! let us meet him as 

we may, 

And turn with the light of the parlour-fire his evil power away; 
And gather closer the circle round, when that firelight dances high, 
And laugh at the shriek of the baffled Fiend as his sounding wing 

goes by ! 



WINTER, ruler of the inverted year, 
Thy scattered hair with sleet like ashes filled, 
Thy breath congealed upon thy lips, thy cheeks 
Fringed with a beard made white with other snows 
Than those of age, thy forehead wrapped in clouds, 
A leafless branch thy sceptre, and thy throne 
A sliding car, indebted to no wheels, 
But urged by storms along its slippery way, 
I love thee, all unlovely as thou seem'st, 
And dreaded as thou art ! Thou hold'st the sun 
A prisoner in the yet undawning east, 
Shortening his journey between morn and noon, 
And hurrying him, impatient of his stay, 
Down to the rosy west ; but kindly still 
Compensating his loss with added hours 
Of social converse and instructive ease, 
And gathering, at short notice, in one group 
The family dispersed, and fixing thought, 
Not less dispersed by daylight and its cares. 
I crown thee king of intimate delights, 
Fireside enjoyments, home-born happiness, 
And all the comforts that the lowly roof 
Of undisturbed Retirement, and the hours 
Of long uninterrupted evening know. 
No rattling wheels stop short before these gates ; 
No powdered pert proficient in the art 
Of sounding an alarm assaults these doors 


Till the street rings ; no stationary steeds 
Cough their own knell, while, heedless of the sound, 
The silent circle fan themselves, and quake : 
But here the needle plies its busy task, 
The pattern grows, the well-depicted flower, 
Wrought patiently into the snowy lawn, 
Unfolds its bosom ; buds, and leaves, and sprigs, 
And curling tendrils, gracefully disposed, 
Follow the nimble finger of the fair ; 
A wreath that cannot fade, of flowers that blow 
With most success when all besides decay. 
The poet's or historian's page, by one 
Made vocal for the amusement of the rest, 
The sprightly lyre, whose treasure of sweet sounds 
The touch from many a trembling chord shakes out, 
And the clear voice, symphonious, yet distinct, 
And in the charming strife triumphant still, 
Beguile the night, and set a keener edge 
On female industry : the threaded steel 
Flies swiftly, and unfelt the task proceeds. 
The volume closed, the customary rites 
Of the last meal commence. A Roman meal, 
Such as the mistress of the world once found 
Delicious, when her patriots of high note, 
Perhaps by moonlight, at their humble doors, 
And under an old oak's domestic shade, 
Enjoyed, spare feast ! a radish and an egg ! 
Discourse ensues, not trivial, yet not dull, 
Nor such as with a frown forbids the play 
Of fancy, or proscribes the sound of mirth : 
Nor do we madly, like an impious world, 
Who deem religion frenzy, and the God 
That made them an Intruder on their joys, 


Start at His awful name, or deem His praise 
A jarring note. Themes of a graver tone, 
Exciting oft our gratitude and love, 
While we retrace with Memory's pointing wand, 
That calls the past to our exact review, 
The dangers we have 'scaped, the broken snare, 
The disappointed foe, deliverance found 
Unlocked for, life preserved, and peace restored, 
Fruits of omnipotent Eternal Love. 
O evenings worthy of the gods ! exclaimed 
The Sabine bard. O evenings, I reply, 
More to be prized and coveted than yours, 
As more illumined, and with nobler truths, 
That I, and mine, and those we love, enjoy. 
Is Winter hideous in a garb like this? 


ANOTHER year! another year! 
The unceasing rush of time sweeps on 
Whelmed in its surges, disappear 
Man's hopes and fears, for ever gone ! 

Oh no ! forbear that idle tale ! 

The hour demands another strain, 
Demands high thoughts that cannot quail, 

And strength to conquer and retain. 


Tis midnight from the dark-blue sky, 

The stars, which now look down on earth, 

Have seen ten thousand centuries fly, 
And given to countless changes birth. 

And when the Pyramids shall fall, 

And, mouldering, mix as dust in air, 

The dwellers on this altered ball 

May still behold them glorious there. 

Shine on ! shine on ! with you I tread 
The march of ages, orbs of light ! 

A last eclipse o'er you may spread, 

To me, to me, there comes no night. 

Oh ! what concerns it him, whose way 
Lies upward to the immortal dead, 

That a few hairs are turning grey, 
Or one more year of life has fled? 

Swift years ! but teach me how to bear, 
To feel and act with strength and skill, 

To reason wisely, nobly dare, 

And speed your courses as ye will. 

When life's meridian toils are done, 

How calm, how rich the twilight glow! 

The morning twilight of a sun 

Which shines not here on things below. 

Press onward through each varying hour ; 

Let no weak fears thy course delay ; 
Immortal being ! feel thy power, 

Pursue thy bright and endless way. 



GOD rest you, merry gentlemen, 
Let nothing you dismay, 
For Jesus Christ, our Saviour, 
Was born upon this day ; 
To save us all from Satan's power, 
When we were gone astray. 

O tidings of comfort and joy, 
For Jesus Christ, our Saviour, was born on 
Christmas Day. 

In Bethlehem, in Jewry, 

This blessed Babe was born, 
And laid within a manger 

Upon this blessed morn ; 
The which His mother Mary 

Nothing did take in scorn. 

O tidings, etc. 

From God, our heavenly Father, 

A blessed angel came, 
And unto certain shepherds 

Brought tidings of the same ; 
How that in Bethlehem was born 

The Son of God by name. 

O tidings, etc. 


" Fear not," then said the angel, 
" Let nothing you affright, 

This day is born a Saviour, 
Of virtue, power, and might. 

So frequently to vanish all 

The friends of Satan quite." 

O tidings, etc. 

The shepherds, at those tidings, 

Rejoiced much in mind, 
And left their flocks a-feeding 

In tempest, storm, and wind, 
And went to Bethlehem straightway 

The Son of God to find. 

O tidings, etc. 

But when to Bethlehem they came, 

Where as this Infant lay, 
They found Him in a manger, 

\Yhere oxen feed on hay, 
His mother Mary kneeling 

Unto the Lord did pray. 

O tidings, etc. 

Now to the Lord sing praises, 

All you within this place, 
And with true love and brotherhood 

Each other now embrace, 
This holy tide of Christmas 

All others doth deface. 

O tidings, etc. 



A WINTER night ! the stormy wind is high, 
Rocking the leafless branches to and fro; 
The sailor's wife shrinks as she hears it blow, 
And mournfully surveys the starless sky : 
The hardy shepherd turns out fearlessly, 
To tend his fleecy charge in drifted snow ; 
And the poor homeless, houseless child of woe 
Sinks down, perchance in dumb despair to die ! 
Happy the fireside student; happier still 
The social circle round the blazing hearth,- - 
If, while these estimate aright the worth 
Of every blessing which their cup may fill, 
Their grateful hearts with sympathy can thrill 
For every form of wretchedness on earth. 



WHILE in the sky black clouds impend, 
And fogs arise, and rains descend, 
And one brown prospect opens round 
Of leafless trees and furrowed ground ; 
Save where unmelted spots of snow 
Upon the shaded hill-side show; 
While chill winds blow, and torrents roll, 
The scene disgusts the sight, depresses all the soul. 

Yet worse what polar climates share 
Vast regions, dreary, bleak, and bare ! 
There on an icy mountain's height, 
Seen only by the moon's pale light, 
Stern Winter rears his giant form, 
His robe a mist, his voice a storm : 
His frown the shivering nations fly, 
And hid for half the year, in smoky caverns lie. 

Yet there the lamp's perpetual blaze 
Can pierce the gloom with cheering rays ; 
Yet there the heroic tale or song 
Can urge the lingering hours along ; 
Yet there their hands with timely care 
The kajak and the dart prepare, 
On summer seas to work their way, 
And wage the wintry war, and make the seals their prey. 



SUMMER joys are o'er ; 
Flowerets bloom no more ; 
Wintry winds are sweeping : 
Through the snow-drifts peeping, 
Cheerful evergreen 
Rarely now is seen. 

Now no plumed throng 
Charms the woods with song ; 
Ice-bound trees are glittering, 
Merry snow-birds, twittering, 
Fondly strive to cheer 
Scenes so cold and drear. 

Winter, still I see 

Many charms in thee ; 
Love thy chilly greeting, 
Snow-storms fiercely beating, 

And the dear delights 

Of the long, long nights. 


THEN doubling clouds the wintry skies deform, 
And, wrapt in vapour, comes the roaring storm ; 
With snows surcharged, from tops of mountains sails, 
Loads leafless trees, and fills the whitened vales. 

i 6 


Then Desolation strips the faded plains, 
Then tyrant Death o'er vegetation reigns ; 
The birds of heaven to other climes repair, 
And deepening glooms invade the turbid air. 
Nor then, unjoyous, winter's rigours come, 
But find them happy and content with home ; 
Their granaries filled the task of culture past- 
Warm at their fire, they hear the howling blast, 
While pattering rain' and snow, or driving sleet, 
Rave idly loud, and at their window beat : 
Safe from its rage, regardless of its roar, 
In vain the tempest rattles at the door. 
'Tis then the time from hoarding cribs to feed 
The ox laborious, and the noble steed; 
'Tis then the time to tend the bleating fold, 
To strew with litter, and to fence from cold. 
The cattle fed, the fuel piled within, 
At setting day the blissful hours begin ; 
'Tis then, sole owner of his little cot, 
The farmer feels his independent lot ; 
Hears, with the crackling blaze that lights the wall, 
The voice of gladness and of nature call ; 
Beholds his children play, their mother smile, 
And tastes with them the fruit of summer's toil. 
From stormy heavens the mantling clouds unrolled, 
The sky is bright, the air serenely cold. 
The keen north-west, that heaps the drifted snows, 
For months entire o'er frozen regions blows ; 
Man braves his blast ; his gelid breath inhales, 
And feels more vigorous as the frost prevails. 



THE night was Winter in his roughest mood ; 
The morning sharp and clear. But now at noon 
Upon the southern side of the slant hills, 
And where the woods fence off the northern blast, 
The season smiles, resigning all its rage, 
And has the warmth of May. The vault is blue 
Without a cloud, and white without a speck 
The dazzling splendour of the scene below. 
Again the harmony comes o'er the vale ; 
And through the trees I view the embattled tower 
Whence all the music I again perceive 
The soothing influence of the wafted strains, 
And settle in soft musings as I tread 
The walk, still verdant, under oaks and elms, 
Whose outspread branches over-arch the glade. 
The roof, though movable through all its length 
As the wind sways it, has yet well sufficed, 
And, intercepting in their silent fall 
The frequent flakes, has kept a path for me. 
No noise is here, or none that hinders thought. 
The redbreast warbles still, but is content 
With slender notes, and more than half suppressed : 
Pleased with his solitude, and flitting light 
From spray to spray, where'er he rests he shakes 
From many a twig the pendent drops of ice, 
That tinkle in the withered leaves below. 
Stillness, accompanied with sounds so soft, 
Charms more than silence. Meditation here 
May think down hours to moments. Here the heart 


May give a useful lesson to the head, 

And Learning wiser grow without his books. 

Knowledge and Wisdom, far from being one, 

Have ofttimes no connection. Knowledge dwells 

In heads replete with thoughts of other men ; 

Wisdom in minds attentive to their own. 

Knowledge, a rude unprofitable mass, 

The mere materials with which Wisdom builds, 

Till smoothed, and squared, and fitted to its place, 

Does but encumber whom it seems to enrich. 

Knowledge is proud that he has learned so much ; 

Wisdom is humble that he knows no more. 

Books are not seldom talismans and spells, 

By which the magic art of shrewder wits 

Holds an unthinking multitude enthralled. 

Some to the fascination of a name 

Surrender judgment hoodwinked. Some the style 

Infatuates, and through labyrinths and wilds 

Of error leads them, by a tune entranced. 

While sloth seduces more, too weak to bear 

The insupportable fatigue of thought, 

And swallowing therefore without pause or choice 

The total grist unsifted, husks and all. 

But trees, and rivulets whose rapid course 

Defies the check of winter, haunts of deer, 

And sheepwalks populous with bleating lambs, 

And lanes in which the primrose ere her time 

Peeps through the moss that clothes the hawthorn root, 

Deceive no student. Wisdom there, and truth, 

Not shy, as in the world, and to be won 

By slow solicitation, seize at once 

The roving thought, and fix it on themselves. 


What prodigies can power Divine perform 
More grand than it produces year by year, 
And all in sight of inattentive man? 
Familiar with the effect, we slight the cause, 
And, in the constancy of nature's course, 
The regular return of genial months, 
And renovation of a faded world, 
See nought to wonder at. Should God again, 
As once in Gibeon, interrupt the race 
Of the undeviating and punctual Sun, 
How would the world admire ! but speaks it less 
An agency Divine, to make him know 
His moment when to sink and when to rise, 
Age after age, than to arrest his course? 
All we behold is miracle; but, seen 
So duly, all is miracle in vain. 


THE keen, clear air the splendid sight - 
We waken to a world of ice ; 
Where all things are enshrined in light, 
As by some genie's quaint device. 

Tis Winter's jubilee this day 

His stores their countless treasures yield ; 
See how the diamond glances play, 

In ceaseless blaze, from tree and field. 

The cold, bare spot where late we ranged, 
The naked woods, are seen no more ; 

This earth to fairy land is changed, 
With glittering silver sheeted o'er. 


A shower of gems is strewed around ; 

The flowers of winter, rich and rare ; 
Rubies and sapphires deck the ground, 

The topaz, emerald, all are there. 

The morning Sun, with cloudless rays, 

His powerless splendour round us streams ; 

From crusted boughs, and twinkling sprays, 
Fly back unloosed the rainbow beams. 

With more than summer beauty fair, 
The trees in winter's garb are shown ; 

What a rich halo melts in air, 

Around their crystal branches thrown ! 

And yesterday ! how changed the view 

From what then charmed us ; when the sky 

Hung, with its dim and watery hue, 
O'er all the soft, still prospect nigh. 

The distant groves, arrayed in white, 
Might then like things unreal seem, 

Just shown a while in silvery light, 
The fictions of a poet's dream; 

Like shadowy groves upon that shore 
O'er which Elysium's twilight lay, 

By bards and sages feigned of yore, 

Ere broke on earth heaven's brighter day. 

O GOD of Nature ! with what might 
Of beauty, showered on all below, 

Thy guiding power would lead aright 

Earth's wanderer all Thy love to know ! 


The winter comes, ami where is she f 


THE dead leaves strew the forest walk, 
And withered are the pale wild flowers ; 
The frost hangs blackening on the stalk, 
The dewdrops fall in frozen showers. 
Gone are the Spring's green, sprouting bowers, 
Gone Summer's rich and mantling vines, 
And Autumn, with her yellow hours, 
On hill and plain no longer shines. 


I learned a clear and wild-toned note, 

That rose and swelled from yonder tree 
A gay bird, with too sweet a throat, 

There perched and raised her song for me. 

The winter comes, and where is she ? 
Away where summer wings will rove, 

Where buds are fresh, and every tree 
Is vocal with the notes of love. 

Too mild the breath of southern sky, 

Too fresh the flower that blushes there ; 
The northern breeze that rustles by 

Finds leaves too green and birds too fair ; 

No forest tree stands stript and bare, 
No stream beneath the ice is dead, 

No mountain top with sleety hair 
Bends o'er the snows its reverend head. 

Go there, with all the birds, and seek 

A happier clime, with livelier flight ; 
Kiss, with the Sun, the Evening's cheek, 

And leave me lonely with the night. 

I'll gaze upon the cold north light, 
And mark where all its glories shone 

See that it all is fair and bright, 
Feel that it all is cold and gone ! 



THOU desolate and dying year ! 
Emblem of transitory man, 
Whose wearisome and wild career, 
Like thine, is bounded to a span ; 
It seems but as a little day 

Since Nature smiled upon thy birth, 
And Spring came forth in fair array, 
To dance upon the joyous earth. 

Sad alteration ! now how lone, 

How verdureless is Nature's breast, 
Where Ruin makes his empire known, 

In autumn's yellow vesture dressed ; 
The sprightly bird, whose carol sweet 

Broke on the breath of early day, 
The summer flowers she loved to greet ; 

The bird, the flowers, oh, where are they ? 

Thou desolate and dying year ! 

Yet lovely in thy lifelessness, 
As beauty stretched upon the bier, 

In Death's clay-cold and dark caress ; 
There's loveliness in thy decay, 

Which breathes, which lingers on thee still, 
Like memory's mild and cheering ray 

Beaming upon the night of ill. 


Yet, yet the radiance is not gone, 

Which shed a richness o'er the scene, 
Which smiled upon the golden dawn, 

When skies were brilliant and serene; 
Oh ! still a melancholy smile 

Gleams upon Nature's aspect fair, 
To charm the eye a little while, 

Ere Ruin spreads his mantle there ! 

Thou desolate and dying year ! 

Since time entwined thy vernal wreath, 
How often Love hath shed the tear, 

And knelt beside the bed of death ; 
How many hearts, that lightly sprung 

When joy was blooming but to die, 
Their finest chords by death unstrung, 

Have yielded life's expiring sigh, 

And, pillowed low beneath the clay, 

Have ceased to melt, to breathe, to burn ; 
The proud, the gentle, and the gay, 

Gathered unto the mouldering urn ; 
While freshly flowed the frequent tear, 

For love bereft, affection fled ; 
For all that were our blessings here, 

The loved, the lost, the sainted dead ! 

Thou desolate and dying year ! 

The musing spirit finds in thee 
Lessons, impressive and serene, 

Of deep and stern morality ; 
Thou teachest how the germ of youth, 

Which blooms in being's dawning day, 
Planted by Nature, reared by Truth, 

Withers, like thee, in dark decay. 



Promise of youth ! fair as the form 

Of Heaven's benign and golden bow, 
Thy smiling arch begirds the storm, 

And sheds a light on every woe ; 
Hope wakes for thee, and to her tongue 

A tone of melody is given, 
As if her magic voice were strung 

With the empyreal fire of heaven. 

And love which never can expire, 

Whose origin is from on high, 
Throws o'er thy morn a ray of fire, 

From the pure fountains of the sky ; 
That ray which glows and brightens still, 

Unchanged, eternal and divine ; 
Where seraphs own its holy thrill, 

And bow before its gleaming shrine. 

Thou desolate and dying year ! 

Prophetic of our final fall ; 
Thy buds are gone, thy leaves are sear ; 

Thy beauties shrouded in the pall ; 
And all the garniture that shed 

A brilliancy upon thy prime, 
Hath like a morning vision fled 

Unto the expanded grave of Time. 

Time ! Time ! in thy triumphal flight, 
How all life's phantoms fleet away ; 

Thy smile of hope, and young delight, 
Fame's meteor-beam, and F'ancy's ray : 

They fade ; and on the heaving tide, 
Rolling its stormy waves afar, 

Are borne the wreck of human pride, 

The broken wreck of Fortune's war. 



There, in disorder, dark and wild, 

Are seen the fabrics once so high; 
Which mortal vanity had piled 

As emblems of eternity ! 
And deemed the stately piles whose forms 

Frowned in their majesty sublime, 
Would stand unshaken by the storms 

That gathered round the brow of Time. 

Thou desolate and dying year ! 

Earth's brightest pleasures fade like thine 
Lijce evening shadows disappear, 

And leave the spirit to repine. 
The stream of life, that used to pour 

Its fresh and sparkling waters on, 
While Fate stood watching on the shore, 

And numbered all the moments gone 

Where hath the morning splendour flown, 

Which danced upon the crystal stream ? 
Where are the joys to childhood known, 

When life was an enchanted dream? 
Enveloped in the starless night 

Which Destiny hath overspread ; 
Enrolled upon that trackless flight 

Where the death-wing of Time hath sped ! 

Oh ! thus hath life its even-tide 

Of sorrow, loneliness, and grief; 
And thus, divested of its pride, 

It withers like the yellow leaf: 
Oh ! such is life's autumnal bower, 

When plundered of its summer bloom ; 
And such is life's autumnal hour, 

Which heralds man unto the tomb ! 



MEEK dwellers mid yon terror-stricken cliffs ! 
With brows so pure, and incense-breathing lips, 
Whence are ye? Did some white-winged messenger 
On mercy's missions trust your timid germ 
To the cold cradle of eternal snows? 
Or, breathing on the callous icicles, 
Bid them with tear-drops nurse you? 

Tree nor shrub 

Dare that drear atmosphere ; no polar pine 
Uprears a veteran front; yet there ye stand, 
Leaning your cheeks against the thick-ribbed ice, 
And looking up with brilliant eyes to Him 
Who bids you bloom unblanched amid the waste 
Of desolation. Man, who, panting, toils 
O'er slippery steeps, or, trembling, treads the verge 
Of yawning gulfs, o'er which the headlong plunge 
Is to eternity, looks shuddering up. 
And marks you in your placid loveliness 
Fearless, yet frail and, clasping his chill hands, 
Blesses your pencilled beauty. Mid the pomp 
Of mountain summits rushing on the sky, 
And chaining the rapt soul in breathless awe, 
He bows to bind you drooping to his breast, 
Inhales your spirit from the frost-winged gale, 
And freer dreams of heaven. 




E>NE Flower, hemmed in with snows, and white as they, 
But hardier far, once more I see thee bend 
Thy forehead, as if fearful to offend, 
Like an unbidden guest. Though day by day, 
Storms, sallying from the mountain-tops, waylay 
The rising sun, and on the plains descend, 
Yet art thou welcome, welcome as a friend 
Whose zeal outruns his promise. Blue-eyed May 
Shall soon behold this border thickly set 
With bright jonquils, their odour lavishing 
On the soft west wind and his frolic peers ; 
Nor will I then thy modest grace forget, 
Chaste Snowdrop, venturous harbinger of Spring, 
And pensive monitor of fleeting years. 




I DEEM thee not unlovely, though thou comest 
With a stern visage. To the tuneful bird, 
The blushing floweret, the rejoicing stream, 
Thy discipline is harsh. But unto man 
Methinks thou hast a kindlier ministry. 
Thy lengthened eve is full of fireside joys, 
And deathless linking of warm heart to heart, 
So that the hoarse storm passes by unheard. 
Earth, robed in white, a peaceful Sabbath holds, 
And keepeth silence at her Maker's feet. 
She ceaseth from the harrowing of the plough, 
And from the harvest-shouting. Man should rest 
Thus from his fevered passions, and exhale 
The unbreathing carbon of his festering thought, 
And drink in holy health. As the tossed bark 
Doth seek the shelter of some quiet bay 
To trim its shattered cordage, and restore 
Its riven sails so should the toil-worn mind 
Refit for Time's rough voyage. Man, perchance, 
Soured by the world's sharp commerce, or impaired 
By the wild wanderings of his summer way, 
Turns like a truant scholar to his home, 
And yields his nature to sweet influences 
That purify and save. The ruddy boy 
Comes with his shouting school-mates from their sport, 
On the smooth, frozen lake, as the first star 
Hangs, pure and cold, its twinkling cresset forth, 
And, throwing off his skates with boisterous glee, 
Hastes to his mother's side. Her tender hand 
Doth shake the snow-flakes from his glossy curls, 


And draw him nearer, and with gentle voice 

Asks of his lessons, while her lifted heart 

Solicits silently the Sire of Heaven 

To "bless the lad." The timid infant learns 

Better to love its sire and longer sits 

Upon his knee, and with a velvet lip 

Prints on his brow such language, as the tongue 

Hath never spoken. Come thou to life's feast 

With dove-eyed Meekness, and bland Charity, 

And thou shalt find even Winter's rugged blasts 

The minstrel teacher of thy well-tuned soul, 

And when the last drop of its cup is drained 

Arising with a song of praise go up 

To the eternal banquet. 


'rr^is the high festival of night ! 

The earth is radiant with delight ; 

And, fast as weary day retires, 
The heaven unfolds its secret fires, 
Bright, as when first the firmament 
Around the new-made world was bent, 
And infant seraphs pierced the blue, 
Till rays of heaven came shining through. 

And mark the heaven's reflected glow 
On many an icy plain below ; 
And where the streams, with tinkling clash, 
Against their frozen barriers dash, 


Like fairy lances fleetly cast, 
The glittering ripples hurry past ; 
And floating sparkles glance afar, 
Like rivals of some upper star. 

And see, beyond, how sweetly still 
The snowy moonlight wraps the hill, 
And many an aged pine receives 
The steady brightness on its leaves, 
Contrasting with those giant forms, 
Which, rifled by the winter storms, 
With naked branches, broad and high, 
Are darkly painted on the sky. 

From every mountain's towering head 
A white and glistening robe is spread, 
As if a melted silver tide 
Were gushing down its lofty side ; 
The clear, cold lustre of the moon 
Is purer than the burning noon ; 
And day hath never known the charm 
That dwells amid this evening calm. 

The idler, on his silken bed, 

May talk of nature, cold and dead ; 

But we will gaze upon this scene, 

Where some transcendent power hath been, 

And made these streams of beauty flow 

In gladness on the world below, 

Till Nature breathes from every part 

The rapture of her mighty heart 




ES, the year is growing old, 

And his eye is pale and bleared ! 
Death with frosty hand and cold, 
Plucks the old man by the beard, 
Sorely. sorely ! 

The leaves are falling, falling, 

Solemnly and slow; 
" Caw ! caw ! " the rooks are calling, 

It is a sound of woe, 
A sound of woe ! 

Through woods and mountain-passes 
The winds, like anthems, roll ; 

They are chanting solemn masses, 

Singing: "Pray for this poor soul," 
Pray, pray ! 

The hooded clouds, like friars, 

Tell their beads in drops of rain, 

And patter their doleful prayers; 
But their prayers are all in vain, 
All in vain ! 

There he stands, in the foul weather, 

The foolish, fond Old Year, 
Crowned with wild flowers and with heather, 

Like weak, despised Lear, 
A king, a king ! 


Then comes the summer-like Day, 

Bids the old man rejoice ! 
His joy ! his last ! Oh, the old man grey 

Loveth her ever-soft voice, 
Gentle and low. 

To the crimson woods he saith, 
And the voice gentle and low 

Of the soft air, like a daughter's breath, 
" Pray do not mock me so ! 
Do not laugh at me !" 

And now the sweet Day is dead ; 

Cold in his arms it lies, 
No stain from its breath is spread 

Over the glassy skies, 
No mist nor stain ! 

Then, too, the Old Year dieth, 
And the forests utter a moan, 

Like the voice of one who crieth 
In the wilderness alone, 
Vex not his ghost ! 

Then comes, with an awful roar, 
Gathering and sounding on, 

The storm-wind from Labrador, 
The wind Euroclydon, 
The storm-wind ! 

Howl ! howl ! and from the forest 
Sweep the red leaves away ! 

Would, the sins that thou abhorrest, 
O soul ! could thus decay, 
And be swept away ! 


For there shall come a mightier blast, 

There shall be a darker day ; 
And the stars, from heaven down-cast, 
Like red leaves be swept away ! 
Kyrie Eleison ! 
Christe Eleison ! 



LOW, blow, thou winter wind, 
Thou art not so unkind 
As man's ingratitude ; 
Thy tooth is not so. keen, 
Because thou art not seen, 

Although thy breath be rude. 

Heigh, ho ! sing heigh, ho ! unto the green holly : 
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly ; 
Then, heigh, ho ! the holly ! 
This life is most jolly. 

Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky, 
Thou dost not bite so nigh 

As benefits forgot : 
Though thou the waters warp, 
Thy sting is not so sharp 

As friend remembered not. 

Heigh, ho ! sing heigh, ho ! unto the green holly : 
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly ; 

Then, heigh, ho ! the holly ! 

This life is most jolly. 



FOR Winter came ; the wind was his whip : 
One choppy finger was on his lip, 
He had torn the cataract from the hills, 
And they clanked at his girdle like manacles. 

His breath was a chain which without a sound 
The earth, and the air, and the water bound ; 
He came, fiercely driven, in his chariot throne 
By the tenfold blasts of the Arctic Zone. 

Then the weeds which were forms of living death 
Fled from the frost to the earth beneath, 
Their decay and sudden flight from frost 
Was but like the vanishing of a ghost ! 

And under the roots of the Sensitive Plant 
The moles and the dormice died for want ! 
The birds dropped stiff from the frozen air, 
And were caught in the branches naked and bare. 




WHAT sweeter music can we bring 
Than a carol, for to sing 
The birth of this our Heavenly King? 
Awake the voice ! awake the string ! 
Heart, ear, and eye, and everything, 
Awake ! the while the active finger 
Runs division with the singer. 


Dark and dull night, fly hence away, 
And give the honour to this day, 
That sees December turned to May. 


If we may ask the reason, say, 
The why and wherefore all things here 
Seem like the spring time of the year? 


Why does the chilling winter's morn 
Smile, like a field beset with corn? 
Or smell, like to a mead new shorn, 
Thus, on the sudden ? 


Come and see 

The cause, why things thus fragrant be : 
Tis He is born, whose quickening birth 
Gives life and lustre, public mirth, 
To Heaven and the under Earth. 



We see Him come, and know Him ours, 
Who with His sunshine and His showers, 
Turns all the patient ground to flowers. 


The Darling of the world is come, 
And fit it is we find a room 
To welcome Him. 

The nobler part 
Of all the house here, is the heart. 


Which we will give Him ; and bequeath 
This holly and this ivy wreath, 
To do Him honour who's our King, 
And Lord of all this revelling. 


How grand and how bright, 
That wonderful night, 
When angels to Bethlehem came, 
They burst forth like fires, 
They struck their gold lyres, 
And mingled their sound with the flame. 


The shepherds were amazed, 
The pretty lambs gazed, 

At darkness thus turned into light : 
No voice was there heard, 
From man, beast, or bird, 

So sudden and solemn the sight. 

And then when the sound 

Re-echoed around, 
The hills and the dales all awoke, 

The moon and the stars 

Stopt their fiery cars, 
And listened while Gabriel spoke : 

"I bring you," said he, 
" From the glorious Three, 

A message both gladsome and good, 
The Saviour is come 
To the world as His home, 

But He lies in a manger of wood." 

At mention of this, 

The source of all bliss, 
The angels sang loudly and long, 

They soared to the sky, 

Beyond mortal eye, 
But left us the words of their song :- 

"All glory to God, 
Who laid by His rod, 


To smile on the world through His Son, 

And peace be on earth, 

For this wonderful birth 
Most wonderful conquests has won. 

" And good will to man, 

Though his life's but a span, 
And his soul all sinful and vile." 

Then pray, Christians, pray, 

And let Christmas Day 
Have a tear as well as a smile. 



OT a leaf on the tree, not a bud in the hollow, 

Where late swung the bluebell and blossomed the rose 
And hushed is the cry of the swift-darting swallow 
That circled the lake in the twilight's dim close. 

Gone, gone are the woodbine and sweet-scented brier 

That bloomed o'er the hillock and gladdened the vale ; 

And the vine that uplifted its green-pointed spire 

Hangs drooping and sere on the frost-covered pale. 

And hark to the gush of the deep-welling fountain 
That prattled and shone in the light of the moon ; 

Soon, soon shall its rushing be still on the mountain, 
And locked up in silence its frolicsome tune. 

Then heap up the hearthstone with dry forest branches, 
And gather about me, my children, in glee ; 

For cold on the upland the stormy wind launches, 
And dear is the home of my loved ones to me ! 



Now the snow hides the ground; littte birds leave the wood, 
And fly to the cottage to beg for their food ; 
While the Robin, domestic, more tame than the rest, 
With its wings drooping down, and its feathers undrest, 
Comes close to our windows, as much as to say, 
" I would venture in, if I could find a way : 
I'm starved, and I want to get out of the cold ; 
Oh! make me a passage, and think me not bold" 
Ah, poor little creature ! thy visits reveal 
Complaints such as these, to the heart that can feel : 
Nor shall such complainings be urged in vain ; 
I'll make thee a hole, if I take out a pane. 
Come in, and a welcome reception thou'lt find. 
I keep no grimalkin to murder inclined. 


But oh, little Robin ! be careful to shun 

That house, where the peasant makes use of a gun ; 

For if thou but taste of the seed he has strewed, 

Thy life as a ransom must pay for the food : 

His aim is unerring, his heart is as hard ; 

And thy race, though so harmless, he'll never regard. 

Little birds leave the wood, 
And JJy to the cottage to beg for their food. 

Come, come to my cottage, and thou shalt be free 
To perch on my finger, and sit on my knee : 
Thou shalt eat of the crumbles of bread to thy fill, 
And have leisure to clean both thy feathers and bill. 
Then come, little Robin ! and never believe 
Such warm invitations are meant to deceive. 



A NNOUNCED by all the trumpets of the sky 
jT^ Arrives the snow, and driving o'er the fields, 

Seems nowhere to alight : the whited air 
Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven, 
And veils the farm-house at the garden's end. 
The sled and traveller stopped, the courier's feet 
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit 
Around the radiant fire-place, enclosed 
In a tumultuous privacy of storm. 

Come see the North Wind's masonry. 
Out of an unseen quarry evermore 
Furnished with tile, the fierce artificer 
Curves his white bastions with projected roof 
Round every windward stake, or tree, or door. 
Speeding, the myriad-handed, his wild work 
So fanciful, so savage, nought cares he 
For number or proportion. Mockingly 
On coop or kennel he hangs Parian wreaths ; 
A swan-like form invests the hidden thorn ; 
Fills up the farmer's lane from wall to wall, 
Maugre the farmer's sighs, and at the gate 
A tapering turret overtops the work. 
And when his hours are numbered, and the world 
Is all his own, retiring, as he were not, 
Leaves, when the sun appears, astonished Art 
To mimic in slow structures, stone by stone, 
Built in an age, the mad wind's night-work, 
The frolic architecture of the snow. 



AND in the frosty season, when the sun 
Was set, and, visible for many a mile, 
The cottage windows through the twilight blazed, 
I heeded not the summons : happy time 
It was indeed for all of us ; for me 
It was a time of rapture ! Clear and loud 
The village clock tolled six I wheeled about, 
Proud and exulting like an untired horse 
That cares not for its home. All shod with steel 
We hissed along the polished ice, in games 
Confederate, imitative of the chase 
And woodland pleasures, the resounding horn, 
The pack loud-bellowing, and the hunted hare. 
So through the darkness and the cold we flew, 
And not a voice was idle : with the din 
Meanwhile the precipices rang aloud ; 
The leafless trees and every icy crag 
Tinkled like iron ; while the distant hills 
Into the tumult sent an alien sound 
Of melancholy, not unnoticed, while the stars, 
Eastward, were sparkling clear, and in the west 
The orange sky of evening died away. 

Not seldom from the uproar I retired 

Into a silent bay, or sportively 

Glanced sideway, leaving the tumultuous throng, 

To cross the bright reflection of a star, 


That gleamed upon the ice ; and oftentimes, 
When we had given our bodies to the wind, 
And all the shadowy banks on either side 
Came sweeping through the darkness, spinning still 
The rapid line of motion, then at once 
Have I, reclining back upon my heels, 
Stopped short ; yet still the solitary cliffs 
Wheeled by me even as if the earth had rolled 
With visible motion her diurnal round ! 
Behind me did they stretch in solemn train, 
Feebler and feebler, and I stood and watched 
Till all was tranquil as a summer sea. 


FROM sunward rocks the icicle's faint drop, 
By lonely river side, is heard, at times, 
To break the silence deep ; for now the stream 
Is mute, or faintly gurgles far below 
Its frozen ceiling : silent stands the mill, 
The wheel immovable and shod with ice, 
The babbling rivulet at each little slope, 
Flows scantily beneath a lucid veil, 
And seems a pearly current liquefied : 
While at the shelvy side, in thousand shapes 
Fantastical, the frostwork domes uprear 
Their tiny fabrics, gorgeously superb 
With ornaments beyond the reach of art. 


Here vestibules of state, and colonnades ; 
There Gothic castles, grottoes, heathen fanes, 
Rise in review, and quickly disappear ; 
Or through some fairy palace fancy roves, 

And studs, with ruby lamps, the fretted roof; 

Or paints with every colour of the bow 

Spotless parterres, all streaked with snow-white flowers, 

Flowers that no archetype in Nature own ; 

Or spreads the spiky crystals into fields 

Of bearded grain, rustling in autumn breeze. 

, 5 6 




E merry all, be merry all, 

With holly dress the festive hall, 
Prepare the song, the feast, the ball, 
To welcome merry Christmas. 

And oh ! remember, gentles gay, 
To you who bask in fortune's ray, 
The year is all a holiday, 

The poor have only Christmas. 

When you with velvets mantled o'er 
Defy December's tempest's roar, 
Oh, spare one garment from your store, 
To clothe the poor at Christmas. 

When you the costly banquet deal 
To guests, who never famine feel, 
Oh, spare one morsel from your meal, 
To feed the poor at Christmas. 

So shall each note of mirth appear 

More sweet to Heaven than praise or prayer. 

And angels, in their carols there, 

Shall bless the poor at Christmas. 



IT was the winter wild, 
While the heaven-born Child 

All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies ; 
Nature, in awe to Him, 
Had doffed her gaudy trim, 

With her great Master so to sympathise : 
It was no season then for her 
To wanton with the sun, her lusty paramour. 

Only with speeches fair 
She wooes the gentle air 

To hide her guilty front with innocent snow ; 
And on her naked shame 
Pollute with sinful blame, 

The saintly veil of maiden white to throw ; 
Confounded, that her Maker's eyes 
Should look so near upon her foul deformities. 

But He, her fears to cease, 
Sent down the meek-eyed Peace : 

She, crowned with olive green, came softly sliding 
Down through the turning sphere, 
His ready harbinger, 

With turtle wing the amorous clouds dividing ; 
And, waving wide her myrtle wand, 
She strikes a universal peace through sea and land. 


No war, or battle's sound, 
Was heard the world around : 

The idle spear and shield were high up hung ; 
The hooked chariot stood 
Unstained with hostile blood ; 

The trumpet spake not to the armed throng ; 
And kings sat still with awful eye, 
As if they surely knew their sovran Lord was by. 

But peaceful was the night, 
Wherein the Prince of light, 

His reign of peace upon the earth began : 
The winds, with wonder whist, 
Smoothly the waters kist, 

Whispering new joys to the mild ocean, 
AVho now hath quite forgot to rave, 
While birds of calm sit brooding on the charmed wave. 

The stars, with deep amaze, 
Stand fixed in steadfast gaze, 

Bending one way their precious influence ; 
And will not take their flight, 
For all the morning light, 

Or Lucifer, that often warned them thence; 
But in their glimmering orbs did glow 
Until their Lord Himself bespake, and bid them go. 
And, though the shady gloom 
Had given day her room, 

The sun himself withheld his wonted speed ; 
And hid his head for shame, 
As his inferior flame 

The new-enlightened world no more should need : 
He saw a greater sun appear 
Than his bright throne, or burning axletree could bear. 



'ry^is midnight's holy hour and silence now 

Is brooding, like a gentle spirit, o'er 

The still and pulseless world. Hark ! on the winds 
The bell's deep tones are swelling ; 'tis the knell 
Of the departed year. No funeral train 
Is sweeping past ; yet, on the stream and wood, 
With melancholy light, the moonbeams rest, 
Like a pale, spotless shroud ; the air is stirred, 
As by a mourner's sigh ; and on yon cloud, 
That floats so still and placidly through heaven, 
The spirits of the seasons seem to stand, 
Young Spring, bright Summer, Autumn's solemn form, 
And Winter with his aged locks, and breathe 
In mournful cadences, that come abroad 
Like the far wind-harp's wild and touching wail, 
A melancholy dirge o'er the dead year, 
Gone from the earth for ever. Tis a time 
For memory and for tears. Within the deep, 
Still chambers of the heart, a spectre dim, 
Whose tones are like the wizard voice of Time, 
Heard from the tomb of ages, points its cold 
And solemn finger to the beautiful 
And holy visions that have passed away, 
And left no shadow of their loveliness 
On the dead waste of life. That spectre lifts 
The coffin-lid of hope, and joy, and love, 
And, bending mournfully above the pale 


Sweet forms that slumber there, scatters dead flowers 

O'er what has passed to nothingness. The year 

Has gone, and, with it, many a glorious throng 

Of happy dreams. Its mark is on each brow, 

Its shadow in each heart. In its swift course, 

It waved its sceptre o'er the beautiful, 

And they are not. It laid its pallid hand 

Upon the strong man, and the haughty form 

Is fallen, and the flashing eye is dim. 

It trod the hall of revelry, where thronged 

The bright and joyous, and the tearful wail 

Of stricken ones is heard, where erst the song 

And reckless shout resounded. It passed o'er 

The battle-plain, where sword and spear and shield 

Flashed in the light of midday and the strength 

Of serried hosts is shivered, and the grass, 

Green from the soil of carnage, waves above 

The crushed and mouldering skeleton. It came 

And faded like a wreath of mist at eve; 

Yet, ere it melted in the viewless air, 

It heralded its millions to their home 

In the dim land of dreams. Remorseless Time 

Fierce spirit of the glass and scythe what power 

Can stay him in his silent course, or melt 

His iron heart to pity ? On, still on 

He presses, and for ever. The proud bird, 

The condor of the Andes, that can soar 

Through heaven's unfathomable depths, or brave 

The fury of the northern hurricane, 

And bathe his plumage in the thunder's home, 

Furls his broad wings at nightfall, and sinks down 

To rest upon his mountain-crag, but Time 

Knows not the weight of sleep or weariness, 


And night's deep darkness has no chain to bind 

His rushing pinion. Revolutions sweep 

O'er earth, like troubled visions o'er the breast 

Of dreaming sorrow ; cities rise and sink, 

Like bubbles on the water ; fiery isles 

Spring, blazing, from the ocean, and go back 

To their mysterious caverns ; mountains rear 

To heaven their bald and blackened cliffs, and bow 

Their tall heads to the plain ; new empires rise, 

Gathering the strength of hoary centuries, 

And rush down like the Alpine avalanche, 

Startling the nations ; and the very stars, 

Yon bright and burning blazonry of GOD, 

Glitter a while in their eternal depths, 

And, like the Pleiad, loveliest of their train, 

Shoot from their glorious spheres, and pass away, 

To darkle in the trackless void : yet Time 

Time, the tomb-builder, holds his fierce career, 

Dark, stern, all-pitiless, and pauses not 

Amid the mighty wrecks that strew his path, 

To sit and muse, like other conquerors, 

Upon the fearful ruin he has wrought. 



CHRISTMAS CAROLS take a wide range of subject, from the bare 
paraphrase of some Scripture narrative, or the doggerel versi- 
fication of some Catholic tradition, down to the flimsiest 
popish legend, or the lowest bacchanalian riot. Our present purpose 
is, however, not to classify, but to exhibit, as far as our space 
permits, some few specimens of the various forms of these popular 
old pieces. 

Our first specimen is copied from a MS. of the fifteenth century, 
preserved in the British Museum (Biblioth. Harl. Num. 5396). The 
abbreviated words we. write at length, but retain the quaint old 
spelling : 

Xristn paremus cantica in excelsis gloria. 

When Cryst was born of mary fre 
In bedlem in that fayre cyte 
Angellis songen with myrth and gle 

In excelsis gloria. 

Herdmen beheld these angellis bryzt 
To hem apperyng with gret lyzt 
And seyd goddys sone is born this nyzt 
In [excelsis gloria]. 

This kyng ys comyn to saue [manjkynde 
[Foretold] in scriptur as we fynde 
[Therefore this song haue we in mynde 
In [excelsis gloria]. 

,6 5 


Then lord for thy gret grace 
[Gr]aunt us in blys to se thy face 
Where we may syng to the solas 

In [excelsis gloria]. 

This carol, one of the best of its kind, has been printed in 
several collections, more or less varied by error or intention ; and 
we give the air to which it was sung. In Chappell's collection it is 
called a German carol tune ; but we believe it is of English 
origin : 


When Cryst was born of ma - ry fre In 



Bed - lem in that fayre cy - te An - gellis songen with 

i=fe= i i g 1- 



myrth and gle, 

In ex - eel - sis glo - ri - a, 


An-gellis songen with myrth and gle, In ex -eel - sis glo - ri - a. 

The well-known tune of the Portuguese Hymn carries the 

following ancient Latin chorale : 

Adeste fi deles, 
Venite, venite 
Natum videte 
Venite adoremus 

Lasti triumphantes, 
In Bethlehem ; 
Regem angelorum ; 


Deum de Deo, 
Gestant puellae 
Deum verum 
Venite adoremus 

Lumen de lumine, 
Viscera ; 

Genitum non factus, 

Cantet nunc lo ! 
Cantet nunc aula 
Gloria in excelsis 
Venite adoremus 

Chorus angelorum ; 
Coelestium ; 

Ergo qui natus 
Jesu tibi 
Patris seterni 
Venite adoremus 

Die hodierna, 

Sit gloria; 

Verbum caro factum, 


A fair English version, by an unknown hand, has been com- 
monly sung to the same tune : 

Come, all ye faithful, hymns triumphant raising, 
To Bethlehem's Prince your praise accord; 

There see Him born, whom angels vie in praising : 
O come and let us worship Christ the Lord. 

Thou Light of lights, the heaven and earth's Creator, 

Hast not a virgin's womb abhorred; 
Thou very God, begotten of our nature : 

O come and let us worship Christ the Lord. 

Born in our world, in due time manifested, 

For ever Jesus be adored : 
Th' eternal Word behold with flesh invested ! 

O come and let us worship Christ the Lord. 



Chant Hallelujah ! all ye hosts of heaven ; 

His name angelic choirs record ; 
Glory to God be in the highest given : 

O come and let us worship Christ the Lord. 

The transposition of the last two stanzas improves the English 


Many of the oldest carols were sung on the Christmas Eve, 
while others were employed in the services or hilarities of the day 
itself. But local usage greatly varies, even within the same neigh- 
bourhood. In Oxfordshire, for example, there are two towns scarcely 
twenty miles asunder, in one of which almost the only carol used 
within memory was that of the "Joys of Mary," to whom, we need 
scarcely say, an unscriptural reverence is too commonly given in 
these compositions. This was sung at every door by various parties 
of children on the afternoon of Christmas Eve. In the other, the 
carols began about ten at night, the singers being a single choir of 
men, women, and children, with some musical instruments, and 
were continued, at various stations in the town, almost through the 
night Here the favourite carols were, the English version of the 
Portuguese Hymn, No. 11. preceding ; a good local rendering of 
" A virgin most pure ; " and Dr. Tate's beautiful hymn, " While 
shepherds watched their flocks by night." The last was always sung 
to an antiquated chorale, peculiar to the place, and known as the 
VVitney Carol. The second is the best rendering we know of this 
general favourite. We subjoin it from an old Witney broadsheet in 
its local form : 

A virgin unspotted, the prophet foretold, 
Should bring forth a Saviour which now we behold, 
To be our Redeemer from death, hell, and sin, 
Which Adam's transgressions involved us in. 
Chorus Then let us be merry, cast sorrow aside, 

Our Saviour Christ Jesus was born on this tide. 

1 68 


Through Bethlehem city, in Juda it was, 
As Joseph and Mary together did pass, 
And for to be taxed when thither they came, 
Since Caesar Augustus commanded the same. 
Chorus Then let us be merry, etc. 

But Mary's full time being come as we find, 
She brought forth her first-born to save all mankind ; 
The inn being full, for this heavenly Guest 
No place could be found where to lay Him to rest. 
Chorus Then let us be merry, etc. 

But Mary, blest Mary, so meek and so mild, 
Soon wrapped up in swaddlings this heavenly Child, 
Contented she laid Him where oxen do feed 
The great God of Nature approved of the deed. 
Chorus Then let us be merry, etc. 

To teach us humility all this was done; 
Then learn we from hence haughty pride for to shun ! 
A manger His cradle, who came from above, 
The great God of mercy, of peace, and of love. 
Chorus Then let us be merry, etc. 

Then presently after the shepherds did spy 
Vast numbers of angels to stand in the sky, 
So merrily talking, so sweet they did sing, 
All glory and praise to our heavenly King ! 
Chorus Then let us be merry, etc. 

A Derbyshire form of this carol, words and tune, is printed in 
ChappelPs collection. We subjoin the melody : 



A vir-gin un - spot -ted the pro - phet fore 

told, Should bring forth a Sa-viour, which now we be - hold, 


be our Re - deem - er from death, hell, and 

sin, Which Ad -am's trans - gres-sions in - volv - ed us in. 

Then let us be mer - ry, cast sor - row 

side, Our Sa-viour, Christ Je - sus, was born on this tide. 

Our next shall be one of the narrative kind, and a few stanzas, 
by way of specimen, must suffice. Gilbert, a Cornish collector, has 
printed it at full length : 

When God at first created man, 

his image for to be, 
And how He made him by his power, 

in Scripture we may see, 


And how he framed his helpmate Eve 

the Scripture doth us tell ; 
Being free from sin, God placed them both 

in paradise to dwell. 
Chorus Let men, therefore, then praise the Lord, 

rejoice, and cease to mourn, 
Because our Saviour Jesus Christ 
this blessed day was born. 

Man being entered in that place, 

we plainly understand, 
The glory of it having seen, 

God gave them this command : 
Be sure thou eat not of the tree 

which in the midst doth stand, 
In eating it thou sure shalt die, 

and perish from the land. 
Chorus Let men, therefore, etc. 

The fall and misery of mankind being next described, the story 
of redemption follows, after which the carol concludes : 

God grant us hearts for to believe, 

and likewise to consider 
How that our Saviour suffered death, 

man's soul for to deliver ; 
The which, if rightly we believe, 

we shall with him be blest, 
And when this mortal life is done, 

in heaven we hope to rest 
Chorus Let men, therefore, etc. 


We may here insert the air of an ancient ditty to which the 
above, and many other carols of the same measure, are indifferently 
sung ; it is very commonly the strain of " God rest you, merry 
gentlemen : " 



We give next a very old carol, with its melody, marked by 
Rimbault as traditional in Somersetshire. From a comparison of 
many copies, however, we conclude it was once very generally 
known, both words and tune : 

As Jo - seph was a walk - 

ing, He 

heard an an - gel sing... This night shall be the 


time of Christ the hcav'n - ly King. 


As Joseph was a walking 

he heard an angel sing 
This night shall be the birth-time 

of Christ the heavenly king. 
He neither shall be born 

in housen nor in hall, 
Nor in the place of paradise, 

but in an ox's stall : 

He neither shall be clothed 

in purple nor in pall, 
But in the linen white and fair 

that usen babies all ; 
He neither shall be rocked 

in silver nor in gold, 
But in a wooden manger rude 

that resteth on the mould : 

He neither shall be washen 

with white wine nor with red, 
But with the water from the spring, 

that on you shall be shed. 
As Joseph was a walking, 

thus did the angel sing, 
And Mary's son at midnight hour 

was born to be our King. 

Then be ye glad, good people, 
this night of all the year, 

And light ye up your candles, for 
His star it shineth clear ; 


And all in earth and heaven 

a joyous carol sing, 
For lo ! to us a child is born, 

and all the bells do ring ! 

N.B. A special favourite with young mothers. 


The following is one of " Foure choice carolls for Christmas 
holidays," preserved in the Roxburghe collection of broadsheet 
ballads, etc. If ever sung, it must have been in solo recitative, 
or plain chant, with, perhaps, one line of song in chorus to each 
stanza, a very ancient mode of singing : 

Upon the twenty-fifth of December 
Our blessed Messias he was born, 
Let us with praise this day adorn, 
To see how He left his habitation, 
For to redeem poor sinful man : 

Sing praise unto his most holy name ! 

First a bright angel brought the happy tidings 
Unto a virgin pure and chaste ; 
Hail ! blessed Mary, full of grace, 
The Lord of life remain with thee ! 
The blessed Saviour of all men : 

praise unto his most holy name! 

The blessed virgin weary was and tired 
When she came to Bethlehem, 
There was no lodging for her then ; 
She was delivered of our Saviour 
That very night in an ox's stall ; 

To show that man's pride must have a fall I 


Then came three wise men, kings that were so loyal, 
All guided by a glorious star ; 
From the east country came so far, 
To see the blessed babe, sweet Jesus, 
That in a manger there was lain : 

Sing praise unto his most holy name ! 

But when King Herod found himself deceived 
He was with wrath and anger filled, 
Vowing that all infants should be killed, 
Thinking to murder our dear Saviour, 
Who came for to redeem us then : 

cruel, cruel, and most bloody man ! 

Then came the glorious and happy tidings 
Unto poor shepherds feeding sheep, 
Which made the shepherds' hearts to leap, 
To hear the blessed babe, sweet Jesus, 
That he was born in Bethlehem ! 

Sing praise unto his most gracious name ! 


Somewhat more tunable is the following, by Robert Herrick, a 
poet of the seventeenth century : 

In numbers, and but these few, 

1 sing thy birth, O Jesu ! 
Thou prettie babie, born here 
With superabundant scorn here: 
Who for thy princely port here, 

Hadst, for the place 
Of birth, a base 
Outstable for thy court here. 


Instead of neat inclosures 
Of interwoven osiers, 
Instead of fragrant posies 
Of daffodils and roses, 
Thy cradle, kingly stranger, 

As Gospell tells, 

Was nothing els, 
But, here, a homely manger. 

But we with silks, not cruells, 
With sundry precious Jewells, 
And lilly-worke will dresse Thee ; 
And as we dispossesse Thee 
Of clouts, wee'l make a chamber, 

Sweet Babe, for Thee 

Of ivorie, 
And plaistered round with amber. 

The Jewes, they did disdaine Thee, 
But we will entertaine Thee 
With glories to await here, 
Upon Thy princely state here, 
And, more for love than pittie, 

From yeare to yeare 

Wee'l make Thee, here, 
A Free-born of our citie ! 

So the Jews would have done, if Jesus could have received honour 
from their sinful hands. 


There are still many Anglo-Norman and French carols or noels 
current in this country. In most of these is found the word Noel, 
variously written Nowell or Novelles, either as a title, or as a refrain 



at the end. Its meaning is not determined. Some say it is a cor- 
ruption of the Latin word Natalis. In many old carols it seems 
to be used simply as the equivalent of "news," or it may be, like 
the Saxon yule, a Romance form of the older Pagan cry, lo ! or 
loul ! handed down from the orgies of the Saturnalia. 1 In some 
ancient Latin hymns it still stands unchanged, as in the third stanza 
of the Portuguese Hymn, No. n. ante. 

The first Noel the Angel did say, 

Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay, 

In fields where they lay keeping their sheep, 

In a cold winter's night that was so deep. 

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel! 

Born is the King of Israel. 

They looked up and saw a Star, 
Shining in the East beyond them far, 
And to the earth it gave great delight, 
And so it continued both day and night. 
Chorus. Noel, etc. 

And by the light of that same Star, 
Three Wise Men came from a country far ; 
To seek for a King was their intent, 
And to follow 'the Star wherever it went. 
Chorus. Noel, etc. 

This Star drew nigh to the north-west, 
O'er Bethlehem it took its rest, 
And there it did both stop and stay, 
Right over the place where Jesus lay. 
Chorus. Noel, etc. 

1 No DEL etoit autrefois un mot de rejouissance, on 1'ecrioit dans toutes les 
fetes et solennites publiques. Menage Diet. Etymol. de la langue Fran9aise. 


Then entered in those Wise Men three, 
Most reverently upon their knee, 
And offered there, in His presence, 
Both gold, and myrrh, and frankincense. 
Chorus. Noel, etc. 

Then let us all, with one accord, 
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord, 
That hath made heaven and earth of nought, 
And with His blood mankind hath bought. 
Chorus. Noel, etc. 


Among the Norman carols we come gradually round to the 
more hilarious tones of "Old English" feasting, the singers often 
being roving minstrels. A single stanza may be given: 

Now lordlings, listen to our ditty, 

Strangers coming from afar; 
Let poor minstrels move your pity, 

Give us welcome, soothe our care : 
In this mansion, as they tell us, 

Christmas wassail keeps to-day ; 
And, as king of all good fellows, 

Reigns with uncontrolled sway. 

One of these convivial Christmas songs happens to stand, in 
black letter, on a single leaf of a book of carols, by the old printer, 
Wynkyn de Worde. This unique fragment is preserved at Oxford, 
and this is the song : 

gi Carol brgngjwg in tjje gear's jjeab. 
Caput j&pri bjefcro 

'laubes' bomino. 


|je bore's fjeab in banbe brgng , 
\i\ garlanbes gag mtb rosemarg. 
prag gou all singe mmlg 

< ui estis in eonbibio. 

bore's jjeab, 5 unberstanbe, 
ijje c^efe serbgte in tljis lanbe, 
faj^erebcr it be fanbe, 

tarn tantito. 

glabbe loribs bot^ more anb lessc 
^or il)i jjaljj oroegneb our 
tjjere goir all t^is ^^ristmasse, 
S^e bore's ^eab boit^ mustarbe. 


The holly and ivy have long been associated with Christmas 
festivities, and our last specimen will show that they are cunningly 
mixed up with the teaching of the Catholic Church. A verse or 
two will suffice. 

The holly and the ivy, 

Now both are full well grown : 
Of all the trees that spring in wood, 

The holly bears the crown. 
The holly bears a blossom, 

As white as lily flower, 
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ, 

To be our Saviour. 


The holly bears a berry, 

As red as any blood, 
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ 

To do poor sinners good. 
The holly bears a prickle, 

As sharp as any thorn ; 
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ, 

On Christmas Day in the morn. 

We have used and compared the collections of Gilbert, Sandys, 
Rimbault, and others, in transcribing some of the foregoing carols ; 
but where practicable, we have copied, or at least collated, the 
original MSS. or broadsheets in the British Museum and elsewhere. 

While transcribing these curiosities of Christmas literature, we 
have felt, and must remark, that many a single modern hymn 
on the Advent and Nativity of Christ is worth all the legendary 
doggerel of the older carols. The best of them were suited only to 
those ruder " days when books were rare, and readers few." 

Pardon & Stmt, I'rinttrs, /'atcrnostcr Rmv, /.,m,/,i. 


O 00 







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